The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Community Bake - The Approachable Loaf by The Bread Lab

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - The Approachable Loaf by The Bread Lab

As of late there has been interest on the forum about an organization called, "The Bread Lab". It is an extension of Washington State University with a laser focus on wheat, people who process the wheat, bakers that work with the wheat, and consumers that eat the wheat. 

The Bread Lab has instituted a program to encourage commercial bakers to offer a basic whole wheat sourdough bread that is targeted for the average consumer. They named the bread, "The Approachable Loaf". A simple name for a basic loaf of natural and nutritious goodness. 

quite a few bakeries have joined to participate in the vision.

Here is a brief write up detailing a common recipe for the Approachable Loaf. NOTE - the formula and method is not meant to be an absolute. Bakers are free and welcomed to develop formulas and methods that meet the minimal criteria. This bread is intended to be a sandwich type bread with a nice airy crumb that will hold the condiments on the bread and not drip down into your laps. Forget the Instagram holes. <LOL>

Basic Criteria -

  • is baked in a tin and sliced.
  • contains no more than seven ingredients.
  • contains no non-food.
  • is at least 60% whole wheat—preferably 100%.
  • is priced under $6/loaf. (Bakeries)
  • 10¢ of every loaf sold returns to The Bread Lab to support further research of other whole grain products. (Bakeries)

Great News for bakers that don’t use sourdough. An Affordable Loaf can be baked using commercial yeast. The main goal is to promote whole grain breads. If you plan to bake using commercial yeast only, a poolish (preferment) would be a great idea.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in and participate in the event. For those that are new to Community Bakes, it is a great opportunity to share and learn with and from others.

Some bakers, including myself decide to get a jump start on the bake. See this link for early bakes.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/62438/community-bake-whole-wheat-bread-multitudes-starts-next-week

 

Below are a few variations of the Approachable Loaf. All spreadsheets are shown with 1000 grams for the Total Dough Weight. If you choose to bake 1 or more breads of a weight other than 1000 grams using any spreadsheet below, do the following in order to figure the weight of each ingredient. Suppose you want to bake a single loaf with a Total Dough Weight of 750 grams. Simply multiple each ingredient by .75 to get the correct weight. Or lets say you want 2 loaves that weigh 900 grams a piece, then multiple each ingredient by 1.80. During my experimentation I found that 1000 grams was a good weight for a 9" x 5" bread pan.

The spreadsheets below are examples. You are free to come up with your own version. 

 

The formula below is for sourdough with no Commercial Yeast.

The version below is a hybrid version using both sourdough and Commercial Yeast. Make sure you watch the bulk ferment and the final proof like a hawk. CY ferments much faster than what sourdough bakers are accustomed to.


The next version uses Commercial Yeast with no sourdough.

For those that are new to the Community Bakes (CB), see this link to get an idea of how things work. Browse the post to get a feel for things. 

The CB is not competitive. It is a learning event where bakers from all of the world share their ideas and learn from others. All bakers are encouraged to share "the good, the bad, and the ugly". We learn much more from our failures that we do from our successes...

A word about email notifications. The Community Bakes garner lots of participants and post. Because of this the thread grows very large, very fast. Those that reply to the CB will be notified via email whenever new replies are posted to the thread. If you click the link in the email notification and you are not brought to the post mentioned in the email, just refresh your browser window. This will correct the issue. 

Danny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The Bread Lab
Janine with The Bread Lab has been generous with her time. She works closely with Dr. Stephen Jones who is in charge of The Bread Lab.  It is an extension of Washington State University with a laser focus on wheat, people who process the wheat, bakers that work with the wheat, and consumers that eat the wheat. 

 

Martin Philip
Martin has taken over as Head Baker for King Arthur Flour after our good friend Jeffrey Hamelman retired (a well deserved rest). Martin has been closely studied by many of our bakers via the King Arthur YouTube videos, especially the videos on shaping dough. His life story is an interesting one. Talk about multi-talent. Here is some excellent history.

Check this out! How an Opera singer became a baker.

Martin Philip is a baker and award-winning author. His book, Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes, was awarded the 2018 Vermont Book Award, the best cookbook of 2018 by the New York Book Industry Guild, and Grand Prize at the New England Book Festival. He is a MacDowell Fellow and a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory.

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

 

I was inspired by Michael Wilson's post on the announcement thread and modified his recipe from his blog to see what damage I could do with it!

I'll post my method then commentary/thoughts.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 125g of Italian Sourdough Starter (45% hydration)
  • 500g Wholemeal Flour (Duchy Organic Stoneground Strong Wholemeal)
  • 400g water at 25°c
  • 50g Light Olive Oil
  • 25g Organic Honey
  • 10g Fresh Yeast
  • 12g fine salt

METHOD for STARTER

  • I took 25g of active 100% Hydration Rye starter and added 100g SWBF and 45g water to approximate Michael's Italian SD starter.
  • Rolled in to a ball and snipped a cross in the top to allow expansion without tearing
  • 10hrs to mature, the ball was approx twice it's size by time I used it

METHOD for BREAD

  • In my Ankarsrum with the roller, mix the flour with 350g of water and autolyse for 30mins
  • In a separate jug, mix the remaining water with yeast and honey and allow to activate until autolyse is finished
  • With the mixer running, drop in small chunks of the starter until incorporated
  • Add yeast/water mix, oil and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated
  • Mix on mid/high speed for 16mins until stretchable for 20cm+
  • Stretch & Fold, rest for 30mins
  • Knock-back, divide in two, pre-shape and rest for 30mins
  • Shape and place in 1lb tins, final prove for 30mins. (At this point the loaves were nicely rounded about 3cm above the lip of the tins)
  • Bake uncovered at 200°C for 25mins with a tray for steam

COMMENTARY

  • I started from the point of view of an amateur baker with a few 100% whole wheat loaves under my belt that had sunk in the oven.
  • Michael hadn't included a method with his recipe, so I guessed everything!  And I realised I had run out of eggs so I omitted 3% egg yolk.
  • I figured that building good gluten is most important in this high hydration loaf to avoid collapse, hence the long mix time in the mixer
  • I was expecting to treat it like a sourdough and do four S&F over 2 hours.  But after the first 30 mins the loaf was more than doubled, so I moved on to the knock-back and pre-shape.  From this point of view, despite only 2% fresh yeast, I treated this as a CY loaf.
  • My kitchen here in Hong Kong runs at about 25°C, a cooler place and a longer rise might have been preferable
  • During the shaping, I was nervous handling such a high hydration, but it felt generally stiffer than a 80% SWBF would do.  Quite sticky too.
  • Final shape was a fold-and-roll as demonstrated by Bake With Jack.
  • Once in the tins and dusted, I kept an eye on the rise after 20mins.  At 30mins I got a good finger-test and didn't want to risk deflation from over-proving so in to the oven.
Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

Sorry I posted too early without the pictures!

After mixing for 16mins, the dough went in to a bowl for a S&F and 30 mins rest:

 

After 30mins, I was expecting a second S&F but came back to this:

So I went straight to pre-shape/bench rest/shape and final prove.

This was the end result:

 

 

EVALUATION & LEARNINGS

Overall, very happy with this as a first attempt.  A couple of holes larger than I would have liked.  But the bread itself I think is VERY approachable.  

It's soft, easy-to-slice, easy to spread butter on.  It doesn't have the depth of texture and complexity of taste I would get from a normal WW sourdough, but then this challenge is for "approachable" and I feel this fits the bill very well.  It is almost as plain as a supermarket loaf!

A couple of things to try:  maybe I will reduce the amount of CY to aim for a slower rise in these warmer climes.  Maybe autolyse and/or mix longer to develop even more gluten; being confident not to get that oven sink.

One more thing to try is to replace some water with orange juice, as apparently that can help neutralise some of the tannins in the WW and make it taste even more approachable.

Feedback and ways to improve much appreciated.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

What a great way to start of the CB. You have come surprisingly close to Michael’s masterpiece.

I played with a yeasted version today and it got away from. Not used to CY. That stuff is explosive... Like you stated, cutting back the yeast in the Final Dough should make a bread with more complex flavor. 

Check out what happened with my first attempt at all CY. Lesson learned - “do NOT treat CY like sourdough” :D

Do you attribute the low hydration levain to any degree of success with this one?

Would a wet levain possibly bring more flavor to the bread?

Should the dough always be deflated (knocked back) when working with CY in the Final Dough? I failed to do that.

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

Thanks Danny.  I seem to have lost the pictures of my collapsed CY experiments :D  I personally think a nice explosion is better than a bread ravine!

I have no idea about the low hydration levain and what it does in this context.  I was going to try my regular 100% rye starter but my brain started to hurt figuring out what that meant for overall hydration. I've only been baking a few months.

Same with the eggs, I've never done enriched breads so I have no idea what I lost in the process by not including them from Michael's recipe.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

39g water + 86g flour = 125g of 45% hydrated levain.

400 water + 39 = 439g
500 flour + 86 = 586g

439/586 = 75% hydration not counting honey and oil

Maybe someone else can check my calculations.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If you wanted to use the same amount of Pre-fermented Flour as Michael, utilizing a 100% levain.

water - 439-86=353
Flour - 586-86=500

Levain = 86 water + 86 flour

Final Dough = 353 water + 500 flour

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

..for the calcs.  I see where you're going with this.  I might do a side-by-side bake later to spot the difference!

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

With CY, my mother taught me to always knockback after the bulk ferment before the final rise.  I think with CY at least it's necessary to avoid the big bubbles that comes with sourdough.  But I've never managed a successful 100% WW CY bread yet...

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

Mind if I try out your recipe? I'm running low on WW flour so I might supplement it with some AP. Your loaf looks gorgeous. I've never really done a community bake, or a loaf in a tin, or a high-percentage WW loaf... but seeing what you've accomplished is making me resolved to try.

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

Sure, that's what a Community Bake is for!  The recipe isn't mine, it's modified from mwilson's recipe.  I made the method up.

I've done plenty of white loaves in a tin, and a fair few mix white/WW, but I was surprised at how well this turned out.

Make sure to mix/knead intensively for a long time to develop the gluten.  Autolyse is the lazy kick-starter to that.

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

This will be a good test of reproducibility. I also don't have a stand mixer, so I'll be kneading by hand. I'm thinking 300 french-folds with 5 minutes in between each 100. I might end up doing a few more rounds of S&F than you. I'll try my best to keep everything else constant though.

I actually grew up in Hong Kong! I lived there my whole life up till a few years ago when I left for college.

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "until stretchable for 20cm+"?

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

...I mean when you pick it up it will droop and stretch back in to the bowl.  I guess some people window-pane, but I find the bran in the wholemeal doesn't help with that.  Whatever you do to verify good gluten development and works for you.

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

Sorry for such a late update, I was wavering on whether I should post but I figured documenting my process might help others. I'm also sitting at this workshop which I missed last week, but basically gives me 1.5 hours to browse the web.

This was pretty out of my depth! I remember your warning to make sure the gluten development was good, but I didn't realize how much I would have to work it. Oh well, it still tasted yummy and works as a sort of crispbread if I toast it a lot. I did 300 french folds and 3 rounds of S&F. Maybe I needed a longer autolyse, since levain works quickly through whole wheat flour and probably degraded the meager gluten development too quickly. Next time I'll also do additional rounds of coil folds.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Torrie, which spreadsheet, if any, did you bake from? How much did the total dough weigh?

I am trying to figure how much dough weight went into the bread pan.

” Maybe I needed a longer autolyse, since levain works quickly through whole wheat flour and probably degraded the meager gluten development too quickly. Next time I'll also do additional rounds of coil folds.” Dough degradation takes quite a bit of time during fermentation. I am leaning towards over proofing, but much more info is needed. WhAs you said, whole wheat grain ferments much faster than white flour.

By the way, 300 slap and folds is quite a bite of kneading.

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

I basically followed Twisticle's recipe but halved the measurements, so my final dough weight must've been approximately 586g. Given my dough didn't rise much it wasn't really enough for the pan.

It is possible I overproofed, what are the signs of overproofing? I can't say I've really figured that out yet. It's quite possible since I did multiple rounds of S&F in an attempt to get the gluten to develop.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tortie, it looks like your pan would need something like 1000 grams of whole wheat bread dough to properly fill the loaf pan.  The pan will require less dough is white flour is used, it will 4ose higher and inflate more.

The image shows a deflated loaf in the pan. You probably did overproof it. Because of the lighting and angles of your crumb shots, it is difficult to draw a definite conclusion.

I may be wrong, but it seems necessary to develop the gluten on whole wheat bread up front. Stretch and folds are fine but this type of dough should be thoroughly kneaded (gluten developed) initially. The dough should be well developed via mixing, slap and folds, hand kneading, etc... If you did 300 slap & folds the dough should be well developed. I think you wrote that you did.

tortie-tabby's picture
tortie-tabby

This should be worth trying again then, thank you! Whole wheat flour is actually decently priced at the grocery store near me anyways. I'll double the recipe, do the 300 french folds, but with only 1 round of S&F, as Twisticles did originally. I let the bulk ferment go for longer because it didn't seem to be rising at all, it's cold in Chicago and the ambient temperature was maybe 72 F at most.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tortie, I want to see you succeed! Twisticles is using fresh yeast, are you? I’m not sure which of his formulas you are using. He posted 3 of them.

If you’ll send your complete formula, I’ll take a look at it.

How would you describe the activity of your starter?

How long did your BF go? 72F is a little cool. My original stater @ 25% Prefermented Flour would probably take 7 or more hours. But keep in mind that starter vary greatly. Also, if you used Commercial Yeast (hybrid version) it will speed the ferment drastically depending on the percentage used.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

My plan is to work my way up to 100 percent whole wheat. I have never really used sourdough and yeast in combination. I suppose I had some purist notions about it but, the idea of getting more whole grain into my bread than I would normally put in a sourdough loaf was intriguing. I started with the KAF Just Bread recipe which is 75% white whole wheat. I used Wheat Montana Prairie Gold milled at home just before mixing and KABF for the white portion. Rather than sift like I would do for sourdough loaves I just added it all in. I followed the recipe closely although my levin had peaked in 10 hours.

I have a Bosch Universal Plus and did not consider hand mixing. With hydration close to 90% I was a little apprehensive, but I think getting the max amount of water in without going too far is the key to success with this method. It is important to monitor the dough while adding the water that was held back slowly during the final mix. I did get to window pane after about 8 minutes or more on second speed. The dough was very wet but elastic enough to lift out of the bowl in one piece.

 I took off the velvet glove and used the iron fist, degassing it at folding, the pre shape and final shaping. I was worried that the yeast was going to run out of steam but it rose over an inch above the rim rather quickly so I slashed it with a serrated bread knife and baked as directed.

The bread came out better than I expected and it is my new favorite sandwich loaf. It makes good toast and the best PB&J I have had in a long time. 

Just Bread

Sliced 

PBJ 

I may try to incorporate an autolyse next time although I am not sure it would help or how to add in the yeast afterwards. The oven spring was good so I am not sure steaming the oven would improve anything either. I am curious to know whether the small inoculation to make the levain is a requirement. I usually make it up in the morning with more seed in the culture and it is ready to use about 6 hours later. I have heard that a stiff starter is better at lifting a whole grain loaf but maybe with the yeast it doesn't matter. I'm going to test this on next Approachable loaf that use a 100% hydration starter.

Second Bake

The bad approach produced the sunken butt crack loaf. Dan said to post the good, the bad, and the ugly. This was 100% WW (Wheat Montana Bronze Chief hard red spring wheat) milled in my Mockmill 100. The first mistake was not holding back enough water and then adding in the remainder too quickly. It didn't want to come together in the mixer even after 15 minutes at 2nd speed. If the dough is too wet it doesn't travel around the bowl of the Bosch Mixer rather it sticks to the bottom and sides and wraps around the center column. I was considering discarding it at this point but went ahead with it in the name of research. I have been using the coil fold for all my breads and combined with a degassing the very wet dough was barely manageable to shape and get into the pan. I had scaled this recipe up to 600 grams flour for my long pullman loaf pan. The next mistake was allowing it to overproof with a couple of large bubbles on the surface. It was loose and jiggly so I used a scissors to score it. As I watched it bake it started to rise above the rim and gave me hope but then it started sinking.

I am not sure a sourdough loaf could have handled this mistreatment but this loaf actually came out better than expected and tasted good. This hybrid version is very forgiving.

butt crack   sliced

 

Third Bake Approachable Campagne

I went over the seven limit with this loaf so I could experiment with getting more flavor from the flour. 

  • 70% Hard red winter wheat 10% spelt 5% rye 15%KA bread flour
  • 85% water 
  • 1/2 tsp IDY 2% pink salt
  • 7% honey 5% olive oil
  • Mix levin and whole grain flours autolyse 30 minutes
  • add remaining ingredients 2nd speed 10 minutes while adding 10% of water that was held back
  • Bulk one and a half hours proof one hour

The little bit of bread flour seems to help hold things together better than the 100% mono wheat. The bread smells great and taste good but with little or no sour notes. The crumb is closer to what I am hoping for, not too tight so butter can't get in or too open for the butter to melt through.

Campagne 

Campagne sliced

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Assuming a teaspoon of IDY weighs 3.5g, what was the percentage of CY (IDY) used?

I am interested to learn how certain percentages of IDY affect the SD hybrid WW.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I put in .2 on your spread sheet. However I have been reducing by measuring spoons to slow things down little by little. Going to do a 1/4 tsp per loaf next time. I posted here somewhere, a King Arthur article, about the variables of individual kitchens based on the wild yeast in your on kitchen. It is quite wide when you consider the small amounts we are using for a single loaf. I may have to hunt for a 1/16 teaspoon or buy one of those scales that do fractions.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Here is a quick run down of the test bakes that took place before the CB began and the spreadsheets were published. NOTE: the first 3 loaves were test runs, those after were baked during the CB.

Bake 1 used sourdough only with no commercial yeast. See top spreadsheet. I can say that all variations of the Affordable tasted great. Since I like the stronger flavor of whole grain, all test bakes used hard red wheat.
 

Bake 2 used sourdough only with no commercial yeast. Bake 3 used sourdough and 0.8% CY. See top spreadsheet and the second spreadsheet respectively.
 
 

Bake 4 used sourdough only with no commercial yeast. Incorporated an Oat Porridge in this one. The sweetness that oats provide came through in a delicate way. Nice Touch... See top spreadsheet, but added 5% Flaked Oats and cooked as a porridge. This bread would have benefited by increasing the hydration. As a matter of fact, all 4 breads above could have used a little more water. I had it in my mind that loaf bread needed less water. No longer think that way.
 

Bake 5 utilized CY only - no sourdough. See 3rd spreadsheet in OP. NOTE - See Lesons learned below about CY getting away from you. Below is my results. If I were to bake this CY formula again, the percentage of CY in the Final Dough mix would be reduced to slow the fermentation. As someone who has eaten SD bread for over a decade, this particular bread lacked flavor over all of the other test bakes. The complexity was not there, IMO. Although the average citizen might consider this bread the best of all. Taste is a personal thing.
 

 

Bake 6
In a prior bake the recommended 0.8% CY (IDY) was used. The fermentation ran much faster than I am accustomed to, being a SD baker. The end result of that bake was an improperly proofed bread that lacked the complex taste that I have come to expect. So for this 6th bake a SD levain (25% pre-fermented flour) was used with a 0.1% yeast kicker that was mixed into the Final Dough.

The Results
The 0.1% CY didn’t affect the fermentation, rise, crumb, or loft of the bread. It also had no affect on the SD flavor. It was as if it wasn’t used. More testing should be done,  but it appears that 0.1% (1g per kilo flour) is not enough CY to make a noticeable difference in this type of bread.

This was the least successful bake of all 6. I handled the dough with consideration of the CY. The dough should have fermented more. But in spite of it being my least favorite, it still made a great tasting, nice looking bread. The slightly dense crumb was very pleasant to eat. The texture was actually enjoyable. This bread has inspired me to try Trevor’s whole wheat bread where he purposely mills the wheat coarse in order to obtain a dense and hearty bite.

 


Bake 7
I am happy to report that this latest Approachable bake is absolutely the best tasting Whole Wheat bread that I have ever baked. By Far!

I hope the great flavor is the result of the 0.3% CY (IDY)! The levain used Bread Flour, so the mix was 75/25% (WW/BF). The whole wheat was Hard Red Wheat (100% extraction).

  • The first hybrid (Bake #3) used 0.8% CY. It fermented too quick for me and the bread was bland and lacked complexity.
  • For the second hybrid (Bake #6) , the CY was reduced to 0.1%. It seems too low, because it was as if no CY was used
  • The third hybrid (Bake #7) utilized 0.3% CY (IDY) and it produced the bread I am raving about.

The loaf and possibly the crumb can be improved a little, but the flavor is going to be hard to beat.

I will be baking this one again, and again, and...

 

 

I included the spreadsheet with the most recent tweaks.


 

Bake 8
I am so glad that we were introduced to the Approachable Loaf! After dialing in the formula that worked best for me, the flavor is outstanding. This is the second bake that consistently produced the texture, lightness, and flavor that turns be on. It presses my buttons... For those that may be interested, see Bake #7 above for the spreadsheet.

For me, the key was the hybrid formula using sourdough and only a 0.3% yeast kicker (CY). I chose to go 75% WW and 25% white flour because I use the 25% white flour in the levain. I may play with that later, but the bread is so good, I am reluctant to mess with it.

By the way - this bread was baked with a starter that is only 6 days old. This newly built starter was actually ready to build a levain after 48 hours and it baked a bread in 72.

 

Bake 9
This bake used the Yankello formula and method, with a few tweaks by Martin Philip at King Arthur Bakery. The 1g of starter for a 1000g leaf intrigued me!

The bake went well. The levain was built the night before and the dough was baked by 11:00 AM the following morning.

Taste is subjective, but for me, bake 7 & 8 are the clear winners. To think that a single gram of starter produced a 1000g dough!
 

Bake 10

The good, the bad, and the ugly”. Let’s call this one the bad AND the ugly :-)

This bread used Red Fife instead of Hard Red Wheat (winter). I toasted the bran in the oven @ 200F for ~15 minutes. The toasted bran was soaked for ~2 or so hours. The flavor is best described as bland to my taste buds. Only 0.3% CY was used, but the fermentation was very quick. 25% PRe-Fermented Flour as usual but it seems the Levain was very active. Note - the levain was young, maybe that attributed to the speedy dough fermentation. Whole grain fermentation is more tricky than white flour. I don’t think the lack luster flavor can be attributed to the Red Fife. A taste comparison of different grains can be seen HERE. From indications of all testing with this bread, it seems a quick fermentation (less than 4 hours) is detrimental to the taste. Future testing will work from a formula of 15% Pre-Fermented Flour as a safe guard against speedy fermentation. At this time I believe the yeast kicker at the proper percentages enhances the flavor of this bread.

Just remembered something. This is the only test bake that didn’t utilize an overnight retard. It is possible that some of the flavor lose may be a result of this. But the short (<2 hr) BF was the main culprit in my mind.

OH! a biggie. Don’t bake breads with sweeteners at high heat! I preheated at 450F and intended to reduce the temp after a few minutes into the bake. Got busy and forgot until it was too late. Aluminum foil couldn’t rescue these two. In all actuality, the darken crust didn’t taste too bad. It was the bland flavor that disappointed.

 

Bake 11

Since Covid-19, my bakes have been utilitarian, instead of the ultimate quest for “The Perfect Loaf”. I am happy to say that this latest bake is proof positive that pan breads can be mixed, immediately shaped and placed in a bread pan to complete all aspects of fermentation. This eliminates a lot of time and work and also produces a very nice crumb. See THIS LINK for more information.

 

 

A huge thanks to Dr. Stephen Jones and The Bread Lab!

 

 Lessons Learned

  • Whole wheat does not have to bake up as bricks, even when using sourdough only.
  • Moderately high hydration is necessary to produce a soft and supple dough.
  • If using CY only, you may consider reducing the yeast in the Final Dough mix to slow the fermentation in order to increase the flavor. NOTE - See Bake #7. CY was reduced to 0.3%
  • Depending on the activity and/or the maturity of your starter or levain it may be necessary to reduce the percentage of Prefermented Flour if the bulk ferment matures too quickly. For me, 5-6 hours produced the best tasting results. For example - One starter finished the BF in 5.5 hours and another starter finished in 3. The 3 hour BF didn’t have the complexity of flavors that the longer BF produced.
  • Whole grain fermentation can be tricky. Speedy fermentation does not make the taste buds happy.
  • According to Bake 6 the yeast kicker should be increased to something over 0.1% to be effective.
  • Be careful not to bake doughs with sweeteners too hot. See Bake 10 for a visual.
  • 1000g whole wheat dough fills a USA (9x5”) pan nicely. Using white flour should require less dough weight.
  • Don’t forget to degas the dough when using Commercial Yeast.
  • A yeast kicker (CY mixed into Final Dough) is a powerful thing. Especially if you are used to SD. Don’t let it get away from you like I did. See image below.

An observation that warrants consideration.
Hydration is always a critical choice, but more so with the possible variations with this bread. Possibilities, including various percentages of whole wheat to white (WW) flour, 100% WW, and home milled WW vs store bought WW. Until you gain experience with this bread you may want to hydrate the dough conservatively and then after all ingredients are mixed and the dough has rested a few minutes, make your final hydration adjustments. I recommend favoring a slightly wet dough for best results. Definitely, not dry.

Through trial and error, I found that drier doughs (75% hydration not counting oil and honey) baked and rose well, scored better, and had stronger doughs. But the down side was a drier crumb. The doughs of ~ 80% and above hydration had moist crumb, but the fully proofed doughs were giggly, poofy, and scoring was difficult. Hopefully a wetter dough can be made more strong and resilient, so much to learn...

It is also important to develop the gluten, especially when using WW.

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I don't have a scale that measures yeast precisely and the recipe calls for 4 grams which seems to be more than a teaspoon. I used a 1/2 teaspoon per loaf and that seemed to be plenty. Could someone with an accurate scale convert the amount of yeast called for to measuring spoons for me please.

I am guessing that a faster proof is part of the method to get it into the oven before too much tension is lost. I might try to reduce the yeast to 1/4 teaspoon per loaf and bulk retard in the refrigerator to see if that develops more  flavor.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

@MT, going by the label on a 4 oz jar of Fleishmann Instant Yeast, 2.25 teaspoon = 7 gram = 1/4 ounce = 1 packet/sachet.

2.25 / 7 = .32143 tsp per gram.  (close to 1/3 tsp).

7 / 2.25 = 3.1111 grams per tsp. = 1.5555 grams per 1/2 tsp

= 1.037 grams per 1/3 tsp. = .77778 grams per 1/4 tsp

= .388889 grams per 1/8 tsp. = .194444 grams per 1/16 tsp.

I've seen 1/16th tsp and 1/3 tsp measuring spoons on Amazon, example:  www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TW184RL?tag=froglallabout-20

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I measured a pinch of Commercial Yeast on a number of tries. It measures very closely and consistently to 0.21-.25g. That’s close enough for the poolish, IMO.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Thanks Dave I should have sat next to you in math class. I went to the Red Star site and found the answers to other questions I had. Looks like the choices of yeasts are expanding. I thought quick rise and instant were two different types but they use the same term for both and ADY can be used as instant as well.  The word Platinum is being used by marketing departments to indicate more than album sales. It applies to fast rising yeast or higher alcohol content Bud Light.

HansB's picture
HansB

Nice work Danny!

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

These look like the kind of hybrid loaves my culinary muse aka my spicy spouse adores. Thanks

albacore's picture
albacore

Here's a few details of my take on the approachable loaf.

NOVEL FEATURES:

  • Use of a flour scald to give good crumb structure - an old Scandi technique, apparently, akin to a Tangzhong
  • Use of a bran soaker to soften the bran
  • Use of 2% fava (broad) bean flour as a flour improver - as permitted by French law in baguette de tradition.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 38% Gilchester red wheat grain, Mockmilled
  • 30% Marriages white whole wheat flour (can't buy white wheat grains in the UK)
  • 30% Marriages bread flour
  • 2% fava bean flour
  • 6% Honey
  • 6% EVOO
  • 1.8% fine salt
  • 1.6% egg yolk
  • 0.8% IDY
  • 77.5% water
  • 20% levain @ 65% hydration, 30% BF, 70% WW, 15% seed for 16hrs at 24C

OK, I've used eight ingredients (wheat flour is one ingredient as far as I'm concerned), so technically I'm disqualified!

METHOD:

  • 33% of the Gilchester flour was made into a scald at 160% hydration the day before
  • the rest of the WW flour was sifted through #40 and the bran was made into a warm water soaker at 240% hydration with 1% salt, also the day before
  • Main mix: water in mixer (keep back 3%) + egg yolk + honey + soaker + scald + flour.
  • mix till smooth and autolyse 25min
  • sprinkle on yeast and add levain, mixing on speed 1 until all incorporated
  • 3 min speed 2, add salt, 1 min speed 2.
  • add 3% bassinage + EVOO on speed 1
  • This gave a nice strong dough, DT 25C.
  • Bulk was 70 mins with one in bowl S&F.
  • Scaled to 1 x 930g  and 1 x 1130g , preshaped and bench rested 20 mins
  • baked in the usual way, but without bakestone, and with a touch of steam
  • loaves baked to an internal temp of 95C

APPRAISAL:

  • I was pleased with this loaves; loft wasn't massive, but it was good enough.
  • The crumb was moist but strong and flexible and slices could be cut very thin if required.
  • Flavour was good, quite nutty. I was worried it might be too sweet with the honey, but I think the balance was just right.

ROOKIE MISTAKE DISCLOSURE:

I didn't grease the tins well enough and the dough stuck, spoiling the look of the loaves a bit. So take care - this dough is sticky!

 

PHOTOS:

Nice strong dough after mixing:

Just after baking:

Crumb shot:

Flexible, foldable crumb:

 

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, your “pumpkin shot” of the dough in your Famag is artistic.  Really like that image. If only I had the room to keep a Famag stored on my counter top... It’s just to heavy for me to lug around.

Like you! I went with the prescribed 0.8% CY. The bread lacked serious flavor (IMO) compared that of SD. You seemed to have liked the flavor more. I’m not sure I missed  the sour profile, but I am sure I missed the flavor that only long, extended fermentation provides. Were I to rebake the hybrid version, the percentage of CY would be cutback quite a bit. What do you think?

What would you do differently next time?

Danny

albacore's picture
albacore

Other than greasing the tins better. I might also try baking it as burger buns - I think they could be quite successful.

Lance

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Could you explain the scalding process and how you determine what percentage of the flour to scald? I have tried Tangzhong using milk with some success. I am going to use your bran soaking method for my next attempt. The unsoaked bran felt like shards of glass on the tongue in the 100% loaf I just made. Fava bean flour is a new one on me. "I am having an old friend for dinner, should go well with a nice chianti fff" You have a lot of tricks up your sleeve. Thanks for sharing

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks and a scald is very simple starch gelatinization process. I got the idea after reading about Dan's Tangzhong trials. I do think this kind of loaf needs the crumb rounding off and making more cohesive. The last thing you want is a big blousy open crumb that falls to bits when you are eating it. I chanced upon an IG post by Daugenbread and his very nice looking Approachable Loaf contained a scald, So I got interested; it seemed more appropriate for wholewheat flour than a tangzhong, as it tends to be used for whole rye flour rather than the normal white flour of a tangzhong.

The principle is described here, but without quantities. After a bit of reading around I settled on 125g wholewheat flour in my 1kg of flour bake (excl levain), so 12.5% or 1/8th total. I simply put the flour in a plastic food storage container and poured on 200g of boiling warer from the kettle and mixed with a Danish whisk until smooth. Once cooled somewhat I put the lid on and left it till the next day - much simpler than a tangzhong!

Fava bean flour (sans Chianti!) is a useful natural dough improver, but I'm not exactly sure of the mechanism. I bought some dehusked fava beans (they are the same as dried broad beans), roughly chopped them in a mouli (because they are huge!) and then put them through the mockmill. You get buy the flour ready milled as well.

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance do you think sifting out the large bits and using that in the scald would be beneficial?

albacore's picture
albacore

I'm sure it would work, Dan. I went a different route and put them in my cold soaker, but to save a process I'm sure you could add them to the scald. As a guide, I collected 64g of bran through my #40 and added 144g of warm water. so if I were to combine it would be 125g flour + 64g bran + 344g of boiling water in the scald. Try it!

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Whenever using a soaker, scald, or anything similar; note the total weights of all ingredients including the water. Then when to add that you you final dough weigh the scald, soaker, etc. You will find that it lost weight, many times considerable. Add the water lose back into the final dough to keep the hydration accurate. 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Wasn't sure you would get "The Silence of the Lamb" reference. I have used tangzhong for white diner rolls, hamburger buns and cinnamon rolls but never with water or whole wheat. It almost made them too soft and the crumb was so fine it was like cotton candy or what we call Wonderbread over here. I will look for the fava bean flour at our local market that has been expanding it's gluten free flour selection. I am oh so grateful to among those without gluten intolerance.

albacore's picture
albacore

If you have no joy there, check out food shops that provide Lebanese, Egyptian, or Turkish foods. They use fava beans a fair bit.

Lance

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Well if one of those ever open up for business in Montana I will be sure and visit it. Until then I did see a Bob's Red Mill  Garbanzo and Fava bean flour on Amazon but not one or the other. I have only put grains through my Mockmill 100 and will have to look into whether that is doable.

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

That looks amazing!

I'm impressed at your knowledge and dedication to bring together all those ideas into a perfect approachable loaf.  I'm too lazy to attempt :D

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks for that. I guess I always like to try a bit of innovation - it keeps the grey matter working! The trickiest bit is usually keeping track of all the bits of flour, bran, etc and the water that goes with them. I find there's no substitute for pen, paper and my trusty Casio calculator when working out this kind of jigsaw puzzle.

Of course, once you've done it once, the next bake is easy.

 

Lance

russsmith's picture
russsmith

This is my contribution to the Approachable Loaf for the Community bake and also my first post. I pretty much followed the recipe from the link in the first post. I did make a few tweaks like not using the commercial yeast mainly because I just wanted to see how it would turn out without it. Approachable Loaf  I have been searching for a loaf that is what I want for a sandwich loaf and this one I am super stoked to find because it is what I have been searching for. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Russ! Glad to join in and like the bread.

Are you aware that you can set the image size when uploading? If not, try stipulating the width in pixels (in the image upload window). No need to define the height it will automatically calculate. Try 300 for a medium sized image and 600 for a large one.

russsmith's picture
russsmith

I will keep that in mind for the next time I think I had it do the thumbnail instead of the larger image. I know I have used the site for a while as a viewer I felt it was the correct time to join in. :) 

russsmith's picture
russsmith

I will keep that in mind for the next time I think I had it do the thumbnail instead of the larger image. I know I have used the site for a while as a viewer I felt it was the correct time to join in. :) 

Beth's picture
Beth

My first loaf (of a planned 3):

This was a CY no knead loaf that was not retarded (life happened and delayed mixing 2 days).

20% dark rye flour (Bob's Red Mill)
80% whole wheat flour (Wheat Montana)
100% water (cold from the tap)
0.2% yeast
1% salt
Bowl generously greased with olive oil after first stretch & fold

Process: (note that this time of year, my kitchen is about 60 degrees in the morning and 65 degrees in the afternoon; also, my habit when stretching and folding is to repeat the folding until the dough starts to get bucky, which usually means half a dozen the first time and 2 at the end)
day 1:
9 pm: mix with a spoon
9:30 pm: stretch & fold, oil bowl and turn dough to oil top, cover and leave on the counter overnight
day 2:
7:30 am: stretch & fold
11 am: stretch & fold
noon: stretch & fold
1 pm: stretch & fold, shape, put in enameled cast iron chicken roasting pan (this is a stretch for a proper loaf "pan" - it's oval and about 50% wider than a loaf pan, but I wanted the cover for the first part of baking)
2:30 pm: bake at 400 degrees, covered for 30 minutes, uncovered for 10 (I should have uncovered it sooner; the bottom got a bit dark while I was waiting for the top to brown)

This loaf lacked the flavor I usually get from this formula, which I blame on not retarding it. It was also noticeably stale by dinner the 2nd day (27 hours after it came out of the oven). I don't know how it would have held up another day, because it got left uncovered on the cutting board overnight, so it's in my freezer to be turned into croutons.

100% hydration whole wheat/rye no knead

My plan for the next two loaves is a comparison of a retarded version of this formula (possibly with a bit more oil) and a Peter Reinhart-style epoxy method loaf.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Beth, the cell structure of your crumb is gorgeous! The cell walls appear thin, uniform, and lacy.  Smashing...

Here is a closeup of your crumb.

Have you considered a poolish (pre-ferment) to increase the flavor?

Beth's picture
Beth

I'm not opposed to a poolish. I just had to limit my options for the sake of time, and decided that I'd rather pull Mr. Reinhart out of retirement for a comparison, first.

Beth's picture
Beth

This was a CY minimally-kneaded loaf that used Peter Reinhart's epoxy method and got an overnight retard.

Total Formula:
20% dark rye flour (Bob's Red Mill)
80% whole wheat flour (Wheat Montana)
90% water (cold from the tap)
0.2% yeast
2% salt
10% olive oil

Which was made out of:
Soaker (part A)
100 g dark rye flour
150 g whole wheat flour
10 g salt
225 g water

Biga (part B)
250 g whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp yeast
225 g water

Final Mix
Part A
Part B
50 g olive oil

Process: (note that this time of year, my kitchen is about 60 degrees in the morning and 65 degrees in the afternoon)
day 1:
8 am: mix soaker and biga with a spoon; cover and leave on the counter
5 pm: biga beginning to collapse; combine soaker and biga; mix with Kitchenaid and dough hook until fully combined; add the oil and mix until combined; cover and leave on counter; 2 stretch & folds during next hours
9 pm: refrigerate

day 2:
7:30 am: remove from refrigerator
11 am: stretch & fold
noon: stretch & fold, shape, put in a proper loaf pan this time
1 pm: bake at 350 degrees, covered for 45 minutes, uncovered

The flavor and aroma of this loaf were quite good, and it is not noticeably stale on day 2. I was concerned about it getting away from me and overproofing, so I put it in the oven while it was preheating. Seeing the finished crumb, I should have waited until the oven was properly hot.

Approachable Loaf #2

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

I haven't participated in a CB yet but I think this will be my first one. 

Danny is there a way to download your spreadsheets to help me get started with the formula please? 

ETA: So I found your spreadsheet template and have downloaded it. :-) Of course, I have a mac and the apple version of Excel isn't quite compatible with your spreadsheet but the vast majority of it works so YAY! The links don't work anymore but I can live without that side of it. 

I am making the CY version because, whilst I love baking SD bread, I didn't want my first 100% w/w loaf to be made more complicated by SD. I will update this post when I have something more to share. I'm excited though and glad to be joining in a CB at last! 

 Second edit: So the dough was going really well. The gluten development seemed fine and the first proof with s&f's went well. The dough doubled in size (perhaps a bit more but I got a little distracted so not sure)

I put it in the fridge for the second proof after knocking back and shaping. It rose quite quickly and I put it in the oven thinking I had caught it before over-proofing. It hadn't quite doubled to my eye. However in the oven it had no spring whatsoever. 

After taking it out of the oven after an hour, I then very much struggled to release it from the tin. I hadn't greased it (against the advice of the recipe) as I thought I didn't need to with the NordicWare pan I use. Perhaps it being 100% whole/wheat contributed to the sticking? 

It's currently cooling (upside down) on a cooling rack. I'll update this post once I've sliced into it. Hopefully the loaf isn't too dense despite the lack of spring. 

Final update + photos. The loaf is indeed dense, as I thought it would be, however I should think it will be fine for toasting. 

 

I'd be keen for some feedback if anything springs to mind about what could have gone wrong. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lady C, looking forward to your results. Post pictures.

Glad to decided to join.

Dan

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

I've just posted some pictures. :-) 

Not the best loaf I've baked of late but I figure it's always good to have your expectations reset to stop complacency! ;-) 

I don't particularly enjoy the flavour of this loaf - perhaps that's to do with it being 100% whole wheat and not a flavour I'm particularly used to. I probably won't try this again but will try a higher % whole wheat loaf in the future. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lady C, you may enjoy the 60/40% (WW/BF) with yeast. In my experience thus far it more closely resembled the store bought bread that many are familiar with. Not exactly, but more closely.

Also whole grain flour made from white wheat is much more milder than flour made from Red Wheat.

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

Yes I suspect you're right that a blend of WW/BF would be preferable. :-) Like you though I prefer the flavour of SD in most cases. I think if I had the time I would stick primarily to SD for my bread baking but time constraints do make CY an easier option for baking more regularly.  

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

So I baked my version of the Approachable Loaf three ways: with a stiff 45% starter, with a soft 100% starter, and only CY.

Danny helped me with the percentages and I ended up with three ingredient lists:

And this is what I got. From left to right the stiff, soft and CY.

Firstly, the soft starter loaves rose fine during the bulk ferment very similar to the stiff and yeast versions. But after knock-back/preshape/rest/shape they took forever to rise in the tins.

They did eventually get there, around 3cm+ above the lip of the tins, which is when they went in to the oven. Everything else being equal, it took 90mins to get there, instead of the 30mins for the stiff starter. The yeast loaf took around 60mins.

I have no idea why that would be, but have heard internet rumours that stiff starters hold their peak activity longer than soft ones, so maybe I hit that peak? Maybe my soft starter was reaching the end of it’s most active state when I used it? Possible.

I’ve also heard that bacterial activity is different between soft and stiff starters, but I wouldn’t know if that really has an impact on rise time.

Height was comparable when they went in to the oven, and they came out nicely rounded. But I didn't weigh each loaf before shaping so there discrepancies in the weight of each loaf, my bad.

But, after cooling, these loaves were not as pretty as my first attempt. The top of the loaves started to cobble, with little sunken dimples dotted across the surface. I guess this indicates larger bubbles and less strong gluten development that couldn’t hold it’s shape once baked. I don’t know why that is, all three versions got the same autolyse and mix time so I would have expected the same kind of gluten strength. Perhaps even more on the soft starter as it had so much longer to rise. In all fairness, the stiff version also dimpled overnight.

Here we can see on the far right, the holes in the yeast version are noticeably bigger than the two starter versions. I sliced in to an unfortunate pocket of air on the stiff version on the left, but that wasn’t typical of the loaf.

From this you’d think the centre loaf had tighter bubbles. But when you look at the slices close-up…

There are large sections that look identical on all slices. In fact, it’s impossible to see any difference at the bottom third of each loaf.

At this point, I think any inconsistencies are with the baker, not the ingredients. I think I need to do a better job during knocking-back, and be more consistent with rise times. For such a short second rise, the stiff starter loaf certainly holds it’s own against the other two.

TASTE TEST

So the most important part – what did they taste like?

Between the stiff and soft starter loaves, there was nothing in it. Both had a very slight sourdough tang that was absent in the yeast loaf (kind of obviously). Or, to put it another way, the yeast loaf tasted more of yeast than the starter loaves. Are you falling off your chair in surprise yet?

The yeast loaf was certainly fluffier and more delicate than the other two, and I feel is the ones that tastes most like a supermarket wholemeal loaf. Think Hovis Wholemeal (in the UK) and you’re in the right ballpark. If kids are going to approach any kind of wholemeal loaf, this would be it.

But for me, the two sourdough loaves have a bit more depth and complexity. That deeper, more malty note. They also feel like they have greater structural integrity than the yeasted loaf. I don’t mean dense, just stronger if that makes sense. Maybe a nice bit chewier, but still light and fluffy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think the biggest lesson in the above loaves - for me - is the need to knock-back better, and to improve my shaping.  The bottom third of each loaf was a very good, moist, crumb with good size holes.  I think better knock-back and shaping will bring that quality to the top of the loaf too.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

First let me say, I have little to no experience with pan breads. But I am of the opinion that SD shouldn’t be “knocked down”. Yeast seems much more resilient. As you noticed SD takes much longer to recover. When baking to produce a more even crumb I will gently pat down the dough, but never aggressively.

Hopefully someone with more experience will either confirm or reject the above. I am interested to learn...

Thanks for posting your test. I know the work involved to do so.

How would you describe the comparison of dough feel and strength when comparing the dry starter to the wet? Any other differences.

I think you are correct, when you wrote that the average citizen would find the completely yeasted bread more compatible and familiar with store bought white bread. But it doesn’t float my boat... The completely SD was my choice hands down. I love the distinct flavor of Hard Red Wheat coupled with the tangy notes of SD. But I must say, the crumb of breads using CY is pretty sweet!

Danny

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

My go-to Basic White Bread uses 7g Instant CY or 12g Fresh Yeast.

Even the two loaves here with starter in have 10g of fresh yeast - that is more than enough to levan a loaf, given a slightly longer prove time than regular yeast bread.  So to my mind, this is a yeast bread - the starter helps only slightly with rise, and is there mainly for flavour.  I could be wrong!

So on that basis, I knocked-back as I would any yeast bread that is looking for that small, uniform crumb.  Otherwise you end up with the big pockets characteristic of SD.  I figured the more regular crumb would be more approachable in slices.

Honestly there wasn't a lot of apparent differences in the handling of the doughs, maybe the starter versions were a bit tighter at shaping but hard to say.

Currently testing three different methods of baking the same dough...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I agree that it is the addition of of the sourdough that takes the ordinary taste and texture of a yeasted bread to the next level. I was curious as to why you reduced the hydration to 75% and if you mixed by hand or machine? I had my doubts about a stiff vs wet starter making a difference that the yeast wouldn't overcome. However I think the low inoculation and long fermentation starter that the recipe calls or a stiff starter that ferments slowly would produce a more assertive taste than a young starter that is fed at a  1-1-1 ratio and peaks in a few hours. Just guessing before I do more testing.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MT, the hydration is set at 75%, but there is an additional 10% hold out water. I use Hold Out Water as a separate ingredient to account for the possibility/probability of extra water. In my mind it makes it more difficult to forget this way.

For some reason I initially thought that sandwich/pan breads would use a lower hydration. No longer believe that. I think you called that to my attention in a recent post. Thank You!

With the exception of what I call “clean tasting breads” such as Ciabatta, baguettes, milk bread, etc. I like the unadulterated flavor of sourdough levain without the yeast kicker.

I would imagine that I am in the minority with this thought. I believe the lions share of sd flavor comes from the actual dough fermentation and not the levain. For this reason it seems the yeast kicker is speeding the fermentation of the dough, causing a flavor profile that forfeits the sourdough flavor that I crave.

The reason I claim the paragraph above is a result of past experience. I can take a very “sweet” (non-acidic) levain and turn out a super sour bread. The magic (for me) takes place in a warm and extremely long BF.

To explain the rationale. Think of what happens to the sour profile of a starter or levain that is fermented for a long time in a warm environment. It gets sour. The identical thing occurs when the actual bread dough is fermented in the same manner. BUT, the catch is this. And it is a big one. Like the starter and levain, the dough is subject to degradation because of the extreme fermentation. Therein lies the trick. To ferment to the max without going over.

But I will say, the crumb produced with a 100% WW is greatly enhanced with a yeast kicker.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I did read somewhere that you should throw out the 1970's whole grain cookbooks and adopt this new method. I did use the Tassajara and Laura's whole grain recipes in the past and they made nice bread but this way is much better. High hydration seems to be in vogue now with sourdough or whole grain baking. Pushing the water content up presents it's challenges by going right up to the edge and coping with wet dough, however it does make for a soft bread that doesn't go stale quickly.

I don't think you can top Hammelman's 5G for flavor and his recipe calls for the yeast but I never included it. At some point I am going to try to adopt a grain soaker ( to heck with the 7 ingredient limit) with this recipe just for the convenience of pan loaves.

Rustic Rye's picture
Rustic Rye

Hey Folks,

Long time reader, first time poster (for the community bake). This is exciting! I was very intrigued about this bread since my partner is a bit fussy with texture for sandwich breads. It can't be too crusty, since the ingredients slide out. I kinda see where she's coming from, but I love the SD flavor and the crunch from a dark baked artisan loaf. Can't beat it. Anyway, I have been searching for a whole grain sandwich loaf that feels healthy yet delicate enough for various ingredients for a while now. 

I tried the version with a pinch of CY and went rouge by adding some white flour. Ghastly, I know. I plan to make the purely SD and 100% sometime soon. I'm a purist at heart, so I love the 100% whole wheat, but it's a work in progress. But for now, here's what I did:

Starter fed the night before (60g WW, 45g water, 5g starter) which mixed up fairly stiff. Coincidentally, this seems kinda popular on this bake and it worked well for me.  

Morning mix (350 water, 340 WW, 130 BF) added to starter mix above, autolyse for an hour. Then added the 35g olive oil, 25g honey, and 10g salt. I mixed that up with my hands then did a few stretch and folds over the next few hours. The BF went for about 6 hours, then shaped and put to bed in a loaf pan in the fridge for a morning bake. It turned out to have pretty good rise and a light texture. I am happy with it. But the 100% WW and SD version is calling... 

Happy baking! :)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

When did you add the pinch of yeast? 

Looking forward to the crumb shot.

According to my experimentation, it is amazing how soft the crumb gets with CY. The cell structure and loft is also greatly improved. It is the best way to rival store bought bread.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Impetuous, I could not wait to post the results at the end. Sneak peek, The timings and method are basically the same, that being said I watch the dough, not the clock. T Minus 10 miniutes till 190 deg. F.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Pie King, what is that slurry (liquid) that is shown in the bottom image surround the crust area? I think the liquid may have caused the sides of your bread to bake up “cake like”.

What do you think?

Did you sneak in some oats Into the dough?

Danny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

1. The slurry is just a small amount of egg white and whole milk wash. I doubt there was enough to have much effect on the sides.

2. No oats raw or cooked in the dough. Just a bit of raw oats on top for decorative purposes. 

The bread is still warm, no crumb shot yet. I want to be sure the loaf is fully cooled before I slice. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

This morning I was listening to Daniel Leader as he spoke on the Sourdough Podcast. He mentioned something about CY is Sourdough that is relevant to this bake, at least as far as I am concerned. He claims that when he uses between 1 and 1/2 gram of CY per kilo of flour that there is no discernible Commercial Yeast taste or lack of SD flavor. 

The Hybrid version listed for this bake indicates 0.8% (or 8g per kilo) CY as a yeast kicker in the Final Dough. According to Leader’s recommendations he indicates 0.1 - 0.05% CY to Total Flour.

I plan to try his recommendation.

Here is a post that discusses the affect of CY in SD breads as it relates to taste.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/62509/thoughts-cy-vs-sd-flavor

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

 I can appreciate the pursuit of the sourdough aspect of the flavor profile in this loaf because of the rather ordinary flavor but from the perspective of WSU Bread Lab it seems to be more about developing good tasting wheat. Replacing Wonderbread with a more nutritional and better tasting bread is a low bar to clear. Their lab tested method developed with the help of renowned chefs will be hard to improve upon. Like many bread recipes it is probably dumbed down for home bakers to be reliable but it is pretty reliable and hard to reproduce by other methods.

I have spent some time learning more about the different yeasts available trying to figure out a way to slow things down. The loaf that I retarded in bulk was mostly a failure with the rapid rise or IDY but perhaps ADY would be a better choice for that task. Fresh yeast is something I have never worked with nor have access to. At any rate I plan to focus on the flour combinations and softening the bran to improve the flavor. 

Getting the whole kernel into the bread was a revelation to me when you consider that 100% whole wheat is 70% white flour and many artisan sourdough recipes contain less than 25% whole wheat we are just not that far from white bread. It would be interesting to try some of their famed Skagitt 1109 to compare it to the wheats we have access to. The grains (Wheat Montana) I am using have a nice flavor and home milling them adds that much more.  It is too bad that mail order wheat shipping prices are too prohibitive for me because I would like to experiment with Red Fife, Turkey Red, GoldenBuffalo and on and on but for now I am going to work with combining rye and spelt with the wheat I have to see if the flavor can be enhanced.

albacore's picture
albacore

Care is needed to ensure that we talk about the same type of yeast when comparing amounts. The Breadlab recipe uses 0.9% IDY and I'm sure your TFL recipe at 0.8% is also IDY; is Mr. Leader also specifying IDY in his 0.05 - 0.1% yeast or is it fresh yeast?

I know French law specifies a maximum of 0.2% yeast in baguettes de tradition and I presume this is fresh yeast.

Some say IDY qtty = 0.33 x FY and others think 0.4 x FY is more accurate.

Lance

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Keep in mind, also, the characteristics of your own kitchen. If you bake bread all the time, your kitchen is full of wild yeast, and any dough you make there will rise vigorously. If you seldom bake bread, or are just beginning, your kitchen will be quite “sterile;” your dough won't be aided by wild yeast, and will rise more slowly than it would in a more “active” kitchen.

Here are some guidelines to get you started. If you're an occasional bread baker, cut back the usual 2 to 2 1/2; teaspoons of instant yeast to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, depending on how long you want to let the dough ferment before the final shape-rise-bake process. 1/2 teaspoon would give you lots of flexibility, such as letting the dough “rest” for 16 to 20 hours; 1 teaspoon would be a good amount for an all-day or overnight rise (10 hours or so, at cool room temperature).

If you're using active dry yeast, which isn't as vigorous as instant yeast, we'd up the range to 3/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

We've found that here in our King Arthur kitchen, where we bake bread every day, we can cut the yeast all the way back to 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon in a 3-cup-of-flour recipe, and get a good overnight or all-day rise.

Use your judgment in rating your own kitchen as to “yeast friendliness.”

And what about whole-grain dough? That rises slowly anyway, doesn't it?

Whole-grain doughs are naturally slow rising, due to the bran in the grain, which interferes with gluten development. If you'd like to slow down a familiar whole-grain recipe, cut back on the yeast; but if you're making a particular whole-grain recipe for the first time, we recommend using the amount of yeast indicated, and seeing just how long it takes the dough to rise fully. Often it takes longer than the directions say, and there's probably no need to slow things down even more.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The claim that "your kitchen is full of wild yeast" should be demonstrable if it is true. The thing that matters is the number of live "colony forming units" or cfu's per gram of dough. I would like to hear a description of the experiment that demonstrates any significant yeast activity over a typical bread fermentation cycle (2 to 10 hrs) when you use neither commercial yeast nor sourdough starter.  If you can't see the effect in a blank dough in a few hours at optimal growth conditions (32-38°C) then it isn't there.  Compare the result with a similar batch to which you add a measured (5 to 50mg) of IDY or even less but make sure that you get it fully hydrated when you mix it in by using 120°F water.  The best debunking of this wives tale was done by National Geographic when they heavily irradiated a batch of wheat flour to sterilize it then wet it and exposed the resulting batter to the air for days in a failed attempt to produce a sourdough starter.

If you can't get any observable yeast activity in a blank dough, then there is insufficient evidence to conclude that there would be sufficient added activity from "wild yeast" to see a difference in a batch of dough that by design contains any commercial yeast.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Maybe someone from King Arthur where I copied and pasted this from would like to explain this in more detail. It seems like a lot of us are getting different fermentation times from similar amounts of yeast using the same recipe. Obviously there are many variables involved. The quality of the water and flour we are using varies more than the yeast we are using. I find it fascinating that Dan can develop a rambunctious starter in a couple of days while others can't get theirs to take.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MT, I have always been reluctant to accept the premise that yeast are flying around in bakeries. But Dave mentioned a few possibilities that seem more viable. For instance, I use a wooden dowel to stir my starters. Gasses/jars are not sterilized and neither are spatulas and other tools.

As I considered the above possibilities, it seems highly improbable that the “Miracle Starter” was a result of contamination. I say this because my other starters have never risen or fermented as aggressively. To think that a minute amount of one of my older starters could spawn this beast so quickly is unthinkable to me. But I could be wrong. Doc is running test on this starter as I write this post.

At this time the most plausible thought is that the organic rye berries brought large numbers and/or great microbes to the mix. That coupled with the fact that the starter was kept in a proofer at ~82F is thought to be the winning combination; at this time, until I learn better.

A source as prominent as King Arthur is credible, but as we move into the future, many of the statements that emanate from our even most credible sources will be debunked. History bears this out! With this in mind it is forever useful to question everything. I know for sure that some of what I fervently believe is dead wrong. The problem is, I have no idea which beliefs they are.

A few years ago most of us were using cheese cloth on our starter containers so we could “catch” the bugs. And lets not get started on food. “Bread is bad”. “Milk is bad”. “Meat is bad”. “Gluten is a death trap”. You get my point...

Our very own Doc is as scientific as anyone I know, but even some of his “facts” will be proven absurd in the future. “We see through the glass dimly, but blessed are those that are straining to get a better look”.

With the above in mind, take everything I said with a grain of salt. <laughing out loud> Who knows what truths tomorrow may unfold. 

Danny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Look at the virus circling the world right now. Look at what 1 gram of starter did in your last levain. We are hosts to an unknown world. We are also victims of too much information that is mostly wrong. I hope all the sourdough we breed doesn't catch a virus or I am really screwed.

Martin Crossley's picture
Martin Crossley

Sourdough yeasts, bacteria and spores live on the outer layers of corn. They don’t really float around. See http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/37259/mythbusters-grain-yeast-or-air-yeast

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

Just my experience recently with the brands I have access to:

7g SAF IDY = 12g Fresh Yeast

I usually cook yeasted breads with the SAF Instant Dried Yeast, so when I first got my hands on fresh yeast I tried 21g as recommended.  Well...things blew up and FAST!  A respected baker I follow suggest 12g FY per 500g flour.

(By the way, does any know if SAF IDY is the same as their instant red or instant gold?)

Martin from KAF's picture
Martin from KAF

Hi all,

Just a little cheering from the sidelines. I see many great loaves. The sandwich population is surely growing (and tasting better!). 

We've been making the Approachable Loaf (which we call "Just Bread") for some time now. We're of the mind that good bread with a normal ingredient list should be available across our community. Here's some press: https://www.vnews.com/King-Arthur-s-new-sandwich-bread-will-nourish-families-in-need-28834270

Last, if anyone has any questions or if I can help in any way, please reach out. I'll try to check in and monitor the thread from time to time.

Happy baking!

Martin Philip
King Arthur Flour
Norwich, Vermont

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I recently purchased the Kindle edition of your book and have been enjoying what I have read so far. Like you I grew up in the Ozarks. I started my baking hobby as a yeast bread baker. I moved on from there and turned into a sourdough purist especially after figuring out that most breads sold in the markets labeled as sourdough were not actually true sourdough. I noticed that many of the recipes included in your book called for spiking them with yeast and I thought that the yeast was added to reach a certain consistency in a production setting or that I must be missing something. The Just Bread loaf I baked has taught me the value of a yeast kicker for whole grain baking and opens up more possibilities to enjoy sandwich bread again. Thanks for all that you and KAF are doing to replace supermarket bread with a nourishing alternative.

Martin from KAF's picture
Martin from KAF

This is a sweet note, thank you so much for reaching out!

I look at my baking as mostly being yeast-driven. I either use culture or commercial yeast as a tool--there are times and places when I want it and the outcomes associated and times when only a culture will do. It just depends on what I'm making. For most home bakers I do find that a little yeast helps to keep things moving. For the fanatics or purists, pulling out the commercial yeast is often an option, too. The world is your oyster! ; )) 

Happy baking!

Martin

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

keeping to the spirit of the approachable loaf, I used commercial yeast instead of my wild yeast starter. I decided to incorporate whole eggs because it would add both a richness and a fat For the dough using only one ingredient. i’ve also read that incorporating an egg extends shelf life. Molasses is rich in iron, so I thought that would be a good choice.

I made two loaves using 1000 g of whole wheat flour. Each baked loaf weighed slightly under 2 pounds.

My Formula

100% whole wheat flour

65% water

16% egg

7% molasses

5% brown sugar

2% salt

1% instant yeast

Directions

  1. Stir the egg in the water, then add yeast & remaining ingredients except salt.
  2. mix ingredients to “organize”. add water as needed. The dough should feel soft and supple
  3. Cover and rest for two hours
  4. After two hours add salt and use mixer for about four minutes
  5. let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours
  6. Shape into loaves, set in pans, covered, and let rise for about one hour
  7. Preheat oven to 425°
  8. Gently slash top of each loaf. Bake at 425° for five minutes
  9. Then lower to 375° and bake for an additional 30 minutes

The molasses brown sugar combination Gives the loaves a full-bodied and slightly sweet background note. sometimes 100% whole wheat bread can taste “bitter” but not with this formula.

The crumb is soft yet substantial. My only criticism is that the crumb is slightly crumbly, if that makes sense.

I sliced up the entire loaf (something I would not normally do) so that I can see how long it stays fresh. I made myself an open faced sandwich with peanut butter topped with ricotta cheese (I also eat peanut butter and tomato sandwiches, something I learned a long time ago from a neighbor who lived in the South).

certainly a crazy combination, but it works for me, and I thought the whole wheat molasses brown sugar bread with that topping was delicious!

 

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick
MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Did one egg make up that much difference in water content to only use 60% water? (slightly crumbly). I hope you get the photos worked out so we can see your bread.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

One large egg weighs 55 grams. and, thanks for the comment. It should be 65% water I will try to edit.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

One large egg weighs 55 grams. and, thanks for the comment. It should be 65% water I will try to edit.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Diane, I hope to gave your protege a piece of the action. 

Your bread looks hearty, and to me that’s a good thing. Maybe one day we’ll be able to taste through our computers.

This bread was made for toast and peanut butter.

HansB's picture
HansB

I made two loaves that are nearly identical. Both had:

Wheat - 60% Hard White Spring, 85% extraction

              10% Yacora Rojo, 100% extraction

              30% KABF

H2O.      75%

Salt.         2%

Olive oil.  5.3%

Honey.     6%

The differences are that the loaf in the background had 27% SD Levain, 65% Hyd.

Foreground loaf is .9% IDY and 12% SD Levain.

 

I used White Whole Wheat to keep it lighter in color to be more "approachable."

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your bread sure stands tall!

I’m trying a hybrid loaf tomorrow but this time I dropped the CY to 0.1% down from 0.8%. Did your fermentation run very fast with the CY? My hopes is to slow the fermentation down so that the SD has time to build flavors, but also take advantage of the yeast kicker hoping for more loft and airy crumb. We’ll see...

HansB's picture
HansB

It was about 2 hour bulk at 73°F and 1 hour proof at 77°F. I'd make it again for sure.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

When you are not used to CY it is hard to imagine how fast it works.

I’ve got 1/2g mixed with 500g flour right now.

algebread's picture
algebread

I haven't had time to post here in a while, and I forgot to take photos of this bake, but I rather liked it---it was fun to have a change and is very nice toasted with butter.

 

I didn't make any significant changes to the SD recipe; I might try the yeast one later on.

My crumb turned out similar to Twisticles' middle loaf.

 

Second bake

This bake from last weekend followed Danny's Bake 7 formula. I wholeheartedly agree that it has more or less perfectly balanced flavor---a mild sourdough tang that complements the loaf's other flavors better than the zing of 100% sourdough. I could have let the final proof go a little longer, but I am otherwise pretty pleased with this loaf.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alge, if interested check bake tomorrow or the next day to see the results of my test to limit the CY. It may work, but also may not. Experimenta5ion is the only way to know for sure.

algebread's picture
algebread

Thanks---I'll look forward to it. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alge, the bread has been baked and will probably be cut tomorrow. This bake used 0.1% CY (IDY). The fermentation didn’t seem to run much faster, if any. The bread showed no signs of extra or more active fermentation. The oven spring appeared normal as if only SD was used with no yeast kicker.

It seems that in my case 0.1% IDY didn’t make a noticeable difference. In a prior bake 0.8% was used and it had a huge affect on the fermentation, as well as hindering the flavor of the bread.

The crumb should tell us more, will post findings once the loaf is cut.

Stay Tuned...

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alge, thanks for the flavor confirmation! So far, the flavor profile of this bread is unbeatable, IMO. It seems that 3 bakes, yours and my #7 & #8 are all in agreement.

If others try this formulas, please post your taste test, agreeable or otherwise.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Cutting calories, homemade cheese omelet on wonder-ful toast. Normal would be two eggs & cheese with bacon & sausage, on a roll, with mayo.  

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Here's our house rendition of the Approachable Loaf.  It's really just our weekly miche formula, scaled down to large loaf pans with a few Bread Lab inspired mods. 

Executive Summary:

• 67% fresh milled whole grain = 33% hard red + 22% hard white + 12% durum
• 75% hydration not counting the honey
• Olive oil & honey per Bread Lab spec
• 3 hour bulk with French folds every 20 min for first 80 min (no namby pamby coils required :-)
• Overnight fridge retard shaped in the bread pan

Approachable Loaf

Approachable Crumb

Approachable Formula

Isn't it liberating to bake a loaf for once where open crumb is actually a defect?  Works for me!  Hence the durum (ever my enemy of open crumb), the reduced hydration and the unabashed French folding well into the phase that would otherwise have me pathetically trying to impersonate Kristin Fullproof's angelic manipulations.  Starter was a bit sluggish and loaf required an hour of 90˚F proofing this morning before baking.  Maybe it was jet-lagged.  Or unhappy with reduced hydration.  Better next time.

When cooled, the loaf was perfectly sliceable and butter-soft.  A pleasure enclosing Tallegio (me) or plum jam (the Mrs) for lunch.  Flavor is utterly tang-less with just enough honey sweetness.  A thoroughly enjoyable product for which I wholeheartedly

THANK YOU DANNY

Could be habit-forming.  I hope so.

Tom

Twisticles's picture
Twisticles

Well that crumb just looks amazing.

Crazy to think the same starter will do something so very different with other flours.

Did you do much/any knock-back to ensure regular, little bubbles in the crumb?  Or is that all down to the flours, especially the Durum?

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Thank you. I confess I’ve never assumed that my starter couldn’t  raise any bread dough I added it to. Perhaps avoiding extinction for 3.5 Bn years tends to make bugs infinitely adaptable. 

French folding is very much a “knocking down” treatment. So yes, I intentionally repeated the French folding throughout the bulk, to push gluten development without regard to crumb aeration since a sandwich bread should have a closed crumb. Nothing to do with flours, less so the durum at only 12%, other than the fact that whole grains in general reduce crumb aeration without extra efforts to promote it.

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

It is super gratifying to see so many participating bakers turn out such beautiful loaves. I believe that together, we are all baking better breads.

An individual can only bake so many breads and run so many experiments, but because of Floyd and his forum, we can all post our findings and learn collectively!

A big thanks to Floyd!   U da’ man...

Danny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Love the crumb and seeing the blisters on the outside. I was thinking about trying to create more steam for this bread beyond misting the oven with a spray bottle. Does anyone know what the percentage of oil or butter would have to be in a bread recipe, to not benefit from steam?

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Thanks. No idea about your oil/butter question.  Interesting one. 
I steamed that Approachable by covering the pan with a inverted identical pan after painting the top with water via pastry brush.  Worked well but I can’t help but wonder how my regular steam system might have changed the outcome. Next time maybe. 
Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The first 5 bakes can be seen HERE.

In a prior bake the recommended 0.8% CY (IDY) was used. The fermentation ran much faster than I am accustomed to, being a SD baker. The end result of that bake was an improperly proofed bread that lacked the complex taste that I have come to expect. So for this 6th bake a SD levain (25% pre-fermented flour) was used with a 0.1% yeast kicker that was mixed into the Final Dough.

The Results
The 0.1% CY didn’t affect the fermentation, rise, crumb, or loft of the bread. It also had no affect on the SD flavor. It was as if it wasn’t used. More testing should be done,  but it appears that 0.1% (1g per kilo flour) is not enough CY to make a noticeable difference in this type of bread.

This was the least successful bake of all 6. I handled the dough with consideration of the CY. The dough should have fermented more. But in spite of it being my least favorite, it still made a great tasting, nice looking bread. The slightly dense crumb was very pleasant to eat. The texture was actually enjoyable. This bread has inspired me to try Trevor’s whole wheat bread where he purposely mills the wheat coarse in order to obtain a dense and hearty bite.

 

Danny

thebreadlab's picture
thebreadlab

Hello Everyone!

It's pretty incredible to see you all baking your own versions of the Approachable Loaf using our criteria but with your own personal spin. We are humbled to see the enthusiasm for the project. And the finished products look delicious!

Janine

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I am happy to report that this latest Approachable bake is absolutely the best tasting Whole Wheat bread that I have ever baked. By Far!

I hope the great flavor is the result of the 0.3% CY (IDY)! The starter used Bread Flour, so the mix was 75/25% (WW/BF). The whole wheat was Hard Red Wheat (100% extraction).

  • The first hybrid (Bake #3) used 0.8% CY. It fermented too quick for me and the bread was bland and lacked complexity.
  • For the second hybrid (Bake #6) , the CY was reduced to 0.1%. It seems too low, because it was as if no CY was used
  • The third hybrid (Bake #7) utilized 0.3% CY (IDY) and it produced the bread I am raving about.

The loaf and possibly the crumb can be improved a little, but the flavor is going to be hard to beat.

I will be baking this one again, and again, and...

 
I included the spreadsheet with the most recent tweaks.


The complete writeup of all bakes can be seen HERE.
Danny

 

algebread's picture
algebread

You got this out just in time for me to try this formula this weekend---It looks great!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Looking forward to hearing more about your process. I have become enamored with this bread and plan on making it a regular thing. I love the fact that my usual 80/20 white to whole wheat that I use for lean sourdough has been flipped on it's head. I think the honey comb crumb you are pursuing can be more easily achieved with this method. Maybe not lacy but still a nice eating bread with good mouth feel.

The mixed flour one I did was a really nice tasting loaf and I am in the process of making a buckwheat approachable with butter and maple syrup. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I am hopeful that the 0.3% Commercial Yeast is the sweet spot! I know that 0.8% is way too much for me nad the 0.1% has no noticeable affect on the fermentation or flavor. But the 0.3% enhanced the fermentation, loft, crumb, AND the flavor is phenomenal! As I said, I hope this can be duplicated. The bread is addicting...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

From what I have recently read, Active Dry Yeast can be added to the flour like instant yeast or rapid rise. It will just start more slowly but finish stronger. I am going to test that theory next and try retarding it in bulk or shaped.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MT, we talked about retarding in another post today. I keep forgetting to degas the CY dough.

For most of the Approachable bakes I BF on the counter, then shaped and put in pan. Then retarded overnight. Pulled nad baked straight out of fridge in the morning with very nice results.

Gotta’ remember to degas the dough. Would you believe that all 3 of the CY loaves were not degassed? Old habits are hard to break. I never completely degas SD.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

or I should say Dave's calculations that is near a half tsp per loaf. Is that correct? How long was the bulk ferment?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MT, I looked up the IDY weight, and got this.

” One teaspoon of instant yeast converted to gram equals to 3.15 g.”

albacore's picture
albacore

You have tirelessly participated in everones bakes and you have even managed to dedicate the time to perfect your own!

 

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks, Lance. I am excited about this last loaf. Now, if only the results can be duplicated.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

We all benefit from Dan's obsessive-compulsiveness.  Seven bakes for one Community Bake!

I'm sure Dan's friends, neighbors, and relatives enjoy his experiments too.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Let me tell you about yesterday...

I give away a lot of bread, I have to. But yesterday I went into the freezer and found that “my stash” was about out! Panick! I’ve been existing on WW and egg sandwiches. I had to whip up an emergency Approachable. AND that was the loaf that I’ve been raving about.

Today I am mixing Kristen’s Basic Open Crumb SD with a starter that was made 2 days ago. I want to see if this is possible. Check out the 5 hr levain. OH! No bad smell or taste, believing the LAB are of the healthy varieties.
 
Started out with 100% home milled organic rye (100% extraction) @ 125% hydration. That stuff is powerful. It doubled within 24 hr, and never had a bad smell or taste.

We’ll see how it bakes up.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I am so glad that we were introduced to the Approachable Loaf! After dialing in the formula that worked best for me, the flavor is outstanding. This is the second bake that consistently produced the texture, lightness, and flavor that turns be on. It presses my buttons... For those that may be interested, see Bake #7 on THIS POST for the spreadsheet.

For me, the key was the hybrid formula using sourdough and only a 0.3% yeast kicker (CY). I chose to go 75% WW and 25% white flour because I use the 25% white flour in the levain. I may play with that later, but the bread is so good, I am reluctant to mess with it.

By the way - this bread was baked with a starter that is only 6 days old. This starter was actually ready to build a levain after 48 hours and it baked a bread in 72.

 


The complete writeup of all bakes can be seen HERE.

Much Thanks to Dr. Stephen Jones and The Bread Lab!
Danny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I haven't posted much....same story, making very similar breads every week, so kind of boring to post about the same things!  I was intrigued by the lead up to this CB, so thought I'd give it a go, as I would like to develop a go-to sandwich loaf.  Gave it my first shot today, and was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I'd like to go all SD at some point, but thought I would start with hybrid, as I always have an issue with getting my SD sandwich attempts to rise above the bread pan lip.  Details......

RWC Approachable WW Sandwich Loaf #1 (ingredients for one loaf, though I made two)

120g Levain (100% fresh milled hard red spring, 100% hydration)

248g AP (Gold Medal)

248g WW (fresh milled hard red spring)

367g Water

27g Olive Oil

22g Honey

11g Salt

4g ADY

First I mixed all the dry ingredients together, then the wet.  Combined them together in a single container, and mixed by hand until well incorporated.  Let rest for 30 minutes, then pinched in the salt, and did ~25 "slap & folds" (these were nothing like my normal s/f, as I usually bake at 72% hydration!)  Let rest another 30 minutes, then performed another ~20 s/f.  After another 30 minutes, a round of stretch/fold (twice around), and a final 30 minute rest.  Folded the dough one more time to release from the container, shaped into a ball, and let rest for about 15 minutes while I cleaned up a bit.  Did the final forming into a log, and placed into a 9x5 bread pan that I had sprayed with baking spray.

Left it for about 30 minutes, then while checking progress I set the oven to 375F.  The dough needed about 30 minutes more until it had risen well above the rim of the pan (see below), and I baked the loaf until done ~40 minutes.  Depanned, and allowed to cool for several hours and then sliced.

The crumb turned out a bit more open than I would like for a sandwich bread, and the tops got a bit of a white crust to them.  Both of those are things I can work on, but overall, I was very happy with how this turned out.  Soft crumb, great wheat flavor/aroma, and I am certain it will make fabulous toast in the am.

Some pics......

Risen in the pan:

Cooling on the rack (x2):

Sliced up:

Crumb close up:

As always, Dan, thanks so much for being the driving force behind these CB's!  Even when I don't participate, I learn a ton from watching the TFL community go through the process.

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Very nice Richie Rich! How do you stop the crust from splitting open without scoring? I tried without scoring but they keep busting open. I like the look of your bread.

But when I do score the breads are very fragile and easily deflated. Maybe I’m over-proofing all of them.

How long was your BF? I am wondering if the percentage of CY was a little high. This might account for a fast BF and also the more open crumb than you would like. Most of The Bread Lab formulas call for a 0.8% yeast kicker when using a SD levain. For me that was way too much. I played around and decided on 0.3%. That worked well with my original starter. The flavor was perfect.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks for the compliment, Dan.

I have no idea why the loaves didn't split, but they were both VERY jiggly when I was ready to put them in the oven, so I didn't dare try to score them (I'm not great at scoring room temp loaves as it is!)  I tried brushing one loaf with water before baking, but it didn't turn out any differently than the other loaf.

BF was ~2 hours, which I will either shorten next time, or I'll reduce the ADY.  I read so many different formulas in the CB, that I just decided to put a stake in the ground and start with .7%.  I agree with you (and had seen your other posts) that something around .3% is probably going to be a sweet spot for good rise, but control some of the other factors (like the open crumb.)

I'll give this another go with an ADY adjustment, and see how that works out.

R

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Rich, one of the greatest benefits of our Community Bakes is the shared information among bakers working with the same type of bread. We get to learn from each other. It’s almost like a single baker baking 50 loaves of the same type.

Bake 7 used my original starter and 0.3% IDY. It BF for ~5.5 hours. Bake 8 used my latest starter and 0.3% IDY also. It is super active, and the BF went only 3 hours. If I bake another with the latest starter, I think I’ll reduce the Prefermented Flour from 25% down to maybe 15%. I prefer the longer BF for flavor. I will say that Bake 8 probably achieved the goal for the Approachable Loaf better than any of my other bakes. The texture was soft with a super creamy chew, and a moderate flavor. I am a fan of the stronger flavor of Hard Red Wheat, but White Wheat would probably be preferred by the average consumer. AND the bread wouldn’t have that distinguishing brown look.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

It's really fun to see how everyone modifies a CB to suit their own methods and taste.

Ideally, I'd like to do a pure SD loaf, but as I mentioned in my post, I really wanted to be sure I got the loft I wanted. I'll be playing around with different ADY and starter percentages for sure.

As for wheat varieties, you are probably right that for a commercial loaf, white wheat would be preferable.  Then again, all of this bread is for me, my family and friends, so......hard red it is! :)

R

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

As I bake this bread more, I have learned to achieve better gluten. This latest loaf was very nice in that respect. But like Rich said the dough is somewhat fragile and giggly when ready to bake. The dough sighs (relaxes, sunk slightly) after scoring. They all spring back in the oven (slight to moderate oven spring), but I hate losing inflation after scoring.

Looking for words of wisdom about how to improve the strength of the dough at the end of the final proof. Could it be that all of my bakes were over proofed?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have used a very shallow cut when scoring for that reason. I agree that well developed gluten seems to help with this recipe. I think degassing properly is helpful because it gets rid of those gasses that break down gluten. Maybe more salt or vitamin C would strengthen it further. I know that dough conditioners are a no-no with this recipe and I have no experience with using them but someone like you that likes to tinker with things it may be worth a shot.

pmccool's picture
pmccool

From your description and the pictures, I suspect that the loaves were just a shade past optimal proofing.  The baked loaves appear to have lost some height, compared to the pre-bake photo.  For the next round, perhaps you could bundle them into the oven when the dough has crested just half an inch above the pan rim.  That will allow for some oven spring and probably a smoother texture in the crumb.

For all of that, I'd still be happy to munch on a slice of that bread.

Paul

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

The activity of the hybrid dough caught me napping a bit!  I haven't used ADY for anything but bagels for so long, that I am sure you are correct that I was a bit past ideal.  That's easy to adjust either in the formula (less/no ADY), process, or both, and I'll be more vigilant on the next go 'round.

I can confirm that munching on this bread is a happy experience!

Thanks for checking in!

Rich

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I realize I just broke the rules and exceeded the ingredient count. Oh well! I made two loaves out of the approachable loaf dough, but turned one into cinnamon raisin swirl. Fun to try something new. I've never made a pan loaf before. 

  • 20% starter (10% inoculated flour) 
  • 0.3% IDY
  • 2.0% salt
  • 85% hydration (does not account for honey or oil)
  • 5% olive oil
  • 5% honey
  • 50% freshly milled 100% extraction Hard Red Redeemer
  • 20% freshly milled 100% extraction spelt
  • 30% KABF
7:00 AMLevain build
11:00 AMAutolyse
12:00 PMMix extra 100g water, honey, oil and IDY then combine with autolyse by 100x slap and fold
12:15 PMIncorporate salt with 100x slap and fold
12:50 PMfold
1:40 PMlaminate
3:30 PMShape
3:45 PMinto fridge

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

How would you describe the taste of both breads?

How did the CY affect the fermentation and taste?

At 85% (not counting oil & honey) p, how did the dough handle?

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I still need to cut open the bread without raisins so I hope to be able to provide better notes on taste at that point. 

The bread with raisins was certainly flavorful. I think with a 3+ hour bf and 12 hours in the fridge that I was able to develop good flavor even with the use of some dried yeast. I've never made a 70% whole grain loaf before (50% has been the max) so the flavor was a bit different than I'm used to.

In terms of how the dried yeast impacted fermentation, it seemed like the dough started to ferment almost immediately (unlike pure sourdough where it takes some time for me to see signs of fermentation), but then calmed down a bit. Also with pure sourdoughs I generally get no rise overnight in the fridge, but this dough continued to rise quite a bit even in a very cold fridge. It seemed really delicate and poofy when I took it out of the fridge so I decided not to score as I feared the loaves would deflate completely. Very different feel from when I take my sourdoughs out of the fridge.

The dough was quite sticky before the slap and folds, but then it came together really beautifully! I started out at closer to an 80% hydration, but kept on adding more water as I felt the dough could handle it/needed it. The dough ended up being stiff enough that I could have baked it free form. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Very good information.

It was surprising to hear that your dough (mixed to 85% not counting honey and oil) was strong enough to bake free form. I mill my four and use it at 100% extraction. Like you mentioned, mine is also delicate and poofy, but I don’t think mine would be strong enough to bake well if free formed.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I really like the crumb of your bread. I am going to try retarding the shaped loaves next time. Did you soak the raisins before adding them in?  The other loaf looks like a monster! Can't wait to see the results.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I was going to soak the raisins, but just didn't get around to it and then I figured that the hydration of the bread was high enough that it was okay if the raisins absorbed some of the liquid. I'd say I have about a 50/50 track record when it comes to soaking raisins! 

thebreadlab's picture
thebreadlab

Hi everyone!

I was inspired by your many gorgeous Approachables (and I ran out of sliced bread at home) so I baked at the lab... and these are my best yet!!

I used Jeff Yankellow's formula, which you may find on our website www.thebreadlab.wsu.edu

Janine

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If you have a crumb shot, we’d like to see it. The breads are beautiful, a sight for baker’s eyes. I hope someday to produce loves of such beauty.

For those that are interested in the direct link to Jeff Yankellow’s formula see this link.
http://thebreadlab.wsu.edu/the-approachable-loaf/

For those that may be interested in Jeff’s formula, take special notice of the 16 hr levain that is mixed 1:50:50 (2g levain + 100g water + 100g flour). I missed that interesting fact before this. I have this levain fermenting now.

Janine, what temp are you fermenting?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Nice looking bread. Would it be possible get my hands on some of the Skagit 1109 wheat berries to bake with at home? If not do you anticipate it becoming available in the near future? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

This bake used the Yankellow formula and method, with a few tweaks by Martin Philip at King Arthur Bakery. The 1g of starter for a 1000g loaf intrigued me!

The bake went well. The levain was built the night before and the dough was baked by 11:00 AM the following morning.

Taste is subjective, but for me, bake 7 & 8 are the clear winners. But, to think that a single gram of starter produced a 1000g dough!
 

The complete writeup of all bakes can be seen HERE.

foodforthought's picture
foodforthought

After reading your posts for the last 2 weeks I had to give this a try as I’d taken a break from sandwich loaves since my San Joaquin Sourdough batards have been coming out so darn good.

I modified the Bread Lab’s Unsifted recipe by incorporating 600 g of poolish (all KA Bread Flour). Used 270g levain (equal parts KA BF and KA WW @ 100% hydration). Total flour of 930 g (including poolish and levain flour) was 60% KA WW and 40% KA BF. I took Dan’s advice and used only 3 g of ADY.

Was shocked by the realization that this recipe is nearly 98% hydration if you include the honey and oil weights with the water. Machine mixed but I never felt like the dough was really developing much strength early on. Over maybe 3 hours of bulk fermentation with 3 stretch and folds in the first half, the dough did finally start resisting stretches. When I got to preshape it was almost like handling ciabatta dough (gel?). Never really felt like I could develop a skin until final shaping and even then it was a delicate business. Lost a bit of upper volume and got some weird muffin top by attempting to use inverted bread pans for steam...NOT recommended. Bread is mighty tasty with a decent crumb and nice crust. Gotta try 100% WW before long.

First Community Bake for me. Thanks for the inspiration.

Phil

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Next time you could hold out ~10% water and add as needed. 80% water (not counting oil and honey) seems high for 40% white flour.

Thanks for joining in, hope you become a regular on our Community Bakes!

Danny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I can see making this bread on a regular basis and want to improve on this pan loaf thing. What I have learned from these CB's is that following a tried and true recipe really helps. Often my first attempt that adheres to the recipe produces the loaf as intended but I tend to wander off the reservation so to speak and lose my way. Sometimes little adjustments work out and other times it's back to the drawing board. I know most recipes are just a list of ingredients and some vague guidelines that are left to interpretation and it is up to the baker to make it as pretty as the picture. 

I like to understand why a recipe works or doesn't. I get why the extraordinary amount of water works for this whole wheat bread but fine tuning the yeast amount has been a hit or miss affair. I am beginning to believe that a shorter, more vigorous rise with with more yeast like the recipe calls for makes a better loaf. As I have reduced the yeast a step at a time the fermentation time has lengthened but the bread ends up not as tall as the earlier versions with more yeast. I was wondering why traditional whole wheat bread recipes and this one recommend a third rise or a punch down(now known as folding) in the middle of the first proof. Are the properties of whole wheat such that a long slow rise causes the gluten to break down?

I applaud all the hand mixers for their efforts to slap and fold themselves to full development, but at this point with the all the oil, honey, and water and a neglected Bosch mixer I will be a speed two freak on windowpane.

Another question I would like help with the answer to is the dense crumb at the bottom of some of my pan loaves. Poor shaping? Too much degassing? A lower rack in the oven required. Is there an Instagram pan loaf master to follow?

I couldn't resist giving the humble pan loaf the artisan bread hold. A toast to the Approachable.

Approachable hold

Twenty minutes on speed two and even the thin crust has holes.

albacore's picture
albacore

A really good looking tinnie, MT! I too get that dense layer at the bottom sometimes - not sure why. Check out Simons Bread on IG. He has some of the best looking (and consistently best looking) loaves I have ever seen and he bakes a few tinnies and is fully upfront with recipe details, as long as you are comfy with working with a skeleton recipe.

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MT, your edges are slightly denser than most. But it seems that most pan loaves are somewhat dense around the edges. I attribute that to the dough being confined in the pan. Notice that the dense section is around the perimeters but not on the top. The top had no restriction from the pan.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have baked a sourdough pan loaf on a stone and the bottom had larger holes than the top like a free form loaf. I'm thinking of try that next time or more steam. More tweaking to come. I think I need a better toaster too, the dense bottom doesn't toast evenly but the last bite is the best one.  Same with a grilled cheese. grilled cheese

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

“ I have baked a sourdough pan loaf on a stone and the bottom had larger holes than the top like a free form loaf”

That makes sense to me. I’ve baked some of the Approachables in a pan on a preheated stone but I don’t remember which ones. I think they would be some of the first bakes. The crumb shot on my first bake (Bake 1) looks like the best crumb. I believe it used a stone. This merits testing.

I look forward to reading your results using a stone. Very good thought!

Desiderio's picture
Desiderio

Thank you for gathering all of this in one place.

Have been on TFL for a while now, but I haven't posted anything in a long time.

So here we go, another terrific project to tackle in this beautiful community, where I have learned so much. 

I followed the original recipe from the link, but used Dan modifications.

The dough was super wet, so wet that I didn't add the 10%water after development. 

I mixed in the stand mixer for a while, then decided to just give it a rest and folds, also did one lamination, to help with development. 

The process was longer, but not much work from my part in between rests.

Placed in oiled tin, let it proof until it was about over the edge and baked as per link, no steam apparatus.

Slice it this morning before heading to work, I am pretty happy with the overall result, I will have to test it little later.

I am trying the stiff SD version later today. 

So exciting!!

 

Desiderio's picture
Desiderio

Desiderio's picture
Desiderio

Just had a end butt and its delicious, I am totally hooked on this flavor, it will be our new staple along the semolina loaf I have been making for some years now, thank to TFL very own Zolablue recipe :-)

More bread making to come.

Also I wanted to mentioned that when I mentioned the dough was super wet, it is not the recipe's fault, probably a mix of user error and type of flour. Another thing, I wasn't able to tightly roll when shaping for the tin, I did more of a miche folding, but it was still little sticky, I did oiled the bench to help with that. Even though it was wet and still little stcky, it felt substantial and not sloppy :-P

I want to try some red fife (I still have some, semolina and Kamut flours, in the next few bakes.

Happy baking everyone!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your bread is picture perfect. Both the loaf and crumb look exceptional.

Have you considered some semolina with the Affordable?

Which formula did you use? All SD, all CY, or hybrid?

Desiderio's picture
Desiderio

Thank you Dan! Its your work that made this possible. Sharing your experiments and knowledge!

I have followed the original recipe, for the first bake I wanted to try not to get too creative, you know, but I did follow your modification of lowering the CY. On 1000g of flour I have used 3 gr of CY, 250 gr of preferment 100% hydration.

I will try some durum next bake and a stiff starter.

Thank you for all the inspiration and the info!!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The good, the bad, and the ugly”. Let’s call this one the bad AND the ugly :-)

This bread used Red Fife instead of Hard Red Wheat (winter). I toasted the bran in the oven @ 200F for ~15 minutes. The toasted bran was soaked for ~2 or so hours. The flavor is best described as bland to my taste buds. Only 0.3% CY was used, but the fermentation was very quick. 25% PRe-Fermented Flour as usual but it seems the Levain was very active. I don’t think the lack luster flavor can be attributed to the Red Fife. A taste comparison of different grains can be seen HERE. From indications of all testing with this bread, it seems a quick fermentation (less than 4 hours) is detrimental to the taste. Future testing will work from a formula of 15% Pre-Fermented Flour as a safe guard against speedy fermentation. At this time I believe the yeast kicker at the proper percentages enhances the flavor of this bread.

OH! a biggie. Don’t bake breads with sweeteners at high heat! I preheated at 450F and intended to reduce the temp after a few minutes into the bake. Got busy and forgot until it was too late. Aluminum foil couldn’t rescue these two. In all actuality, the darken crust didn’t taste too bad. It was the bland flavor that disappointed.

 
Click HERE to view the complete set of test bakes.

Prairie Ranger's picture
Prairie Ranger

I just listened to an episode of the Gastropod podcast entitled "White vs. Wheat: The Food Fight of the Centuries".  It included an interview with Stephen Jones of the WSU Bread Lab and a discussion of The Approachable Loaf.  I haven't gotten deep into this thread or the accompanying Community Bake thread, but the podcast was a great listen, and I may have to dive in eventually - still just working quietly on my own sourdough loaves.  Episode can be found here: https://omny.fm/shows/gastropod/white-vs-wheat-the-food-fight-of-the-centuries

PR

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I downloaded the podcast and plan to listen this morning on my daily walk...

Danny

albacore's picture
albacore

I revisited the approachable loaf at the weekend. I've nearly run out of whole wheat flour and grain and there's no more to be had at the moment. However I did manage to get hold of a 10kg bag of Tesco medium chapatti flour last week so that will have to do for the moment!

I believe that medium chapatti flour, at least in the UK, is a mixture of wholemeal and white flour, but I'm not sure of the proportions. Protein is 10.9%, so not too terrible. Out of interest, I sifted some through my #40 and got a 9% retention. I was a bit worried about starch damage as this has been discussed at length on TFL, but I suspect that this only applies to Indian Atta chapatti flour which is milled in a disc mill. I can't see UK millers buying disc mills when they have perfectly good roller mills.

I used the same recipe as last time apart from

  • reducing hydration 77.5 --> 75% because the chapatti flour is not full wholemeal.
  • 2g lecithin powder in place of the egg yolk, because eggs are in short supply too!
  • added 100ppm ascorbic acid because the chapatti flour was an unknown
  • reduced honey and oil from 6% to 4% to conserve ingredients

The loaves turned out fine, just not as flavoursome as last time. I did get that compacted dough layer at the bottom of the loaf again, even though it was cooked through, as others have also reported. Does anyone know what is causing it and how to minimise it?

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, it seems to me that the denser crumb at the bottom is a result of compression exacerbated by the confining walls of the pan. What do you think?

I decided to take a look at a generic US sandwich bread slice. It also appears more dense around the bottom and side perimeters. The texture looks more like felt fabric than bread. Disclaimer - it is the only type of bread my wife will eat. I never touch the stuff.

Your loaf looks pretty dog gone good...

I am fermenting a levain now in preparation for an Approachable. I am almost out of bread and sandwiches is most of what I eat these days. I plan to bake in a 13”x 4”x4” pullman using ~1550 TDW. Not sure how filled the covered pan will be once baked. I’ve learned you can’t say “X” amount of dough will fill the pullman. Whole wheat obviously takes more. And I’m going to omit the CY.

Baking for me has changed from the quest for that perfect loaf to “I need some sandwich bread”. It’s a different style of baking and it is enjoyable.

Stay safe and healthy!

Danny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Since Covid-19, my bakes have been utilitarian, instead of the ultimate quest for “The Perfect Loaf”. I am happy to say that this latest bake is proof positive that pan breads can be mixed, immediately shaped and placed in a bread pan to complete all aspects of fermentation. This eliminates a lot of time and work and also produces a very nice crumb. See THIS LINK for more information.
 
A list of all Approachable bakes can be seen HERE.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Hi,

I am trying this community bake again and my dough is currently fermenting! When I did this community bake last month it was my first time baking sourdough in pan form and I found that the bottom of the loaf was somewhat soggy. I stuck the loaf back in the oven without the pan to let it firm up a bit and that worked okay, but any advice to avoid having another soggy bottom? The top of the loaf also created some overhang that stuck to the sides of the tin. Thank you! 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I now bake mine on the lowest rack and use a sheet pan on the top rack that I pour boiling water into. l leave it in there for at least 15 minutes. I am getting better oven spring and the bottom of the loaf is well browned. I had one stick before but now I make sure it is well greased. The soggy bottom reminded me of one of my favorite movies. "O Brother Where Art Thou".

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I am no authority on pan breads but have turned out nice loaves baking with a pan on top of a pre-heated baking stone. Don’t know if it makes a difference or not, but the results have been consistent.

The loaves are also removed from the pan and baked a while longer.

MT, do you keep a can of “Pomade” on you at all times? LOL

Dan

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Is the preferred brand. One of my favorite lines is "Well it looks like hard times has flushed the chumps!" Great music and a great film. 

I wanted to use a stone but my roasting pan isn't quite deep enough for pan loaves. I saw a stainless steel cat litterbox on Amazon that might work but I couldn't pull the trigger on it because well it's a cat litter box for $40! I did bake a single loaf in my Romertopf and it steamed well but the bottom was soggy.

"Yes sir the South is going to change from now on everyone is going to be hooked up to a grid and everything willl be run on a paying basis, It's going to be a whole new age of reason, like the one they had in France"

ifs201's picture
ifs201

About to stick them in the oven on the bottom rack with steam at the top of the oven. Looks like the fermentation went a bit nuts in the fridge overnight, but fingers crossed! 

Beth's picture
Beth

I tried this once to see if it would work, knowing that the worst-case scenario was making a large batch of sourdough pancakes for the freezer. And it did, so I did it again, and it is behaving consistently:

30 grams mature 100% hydration starter (as in, straight from storage in the refrigerator - I told you this was lazy)

500 grams water

10 grams salt

100 grams dark rye flour (finely ground)

500 grams whole wheat flour

Olive oil for the bowl

---

Right before bedtime: Dissolve the starter in the water, then add everything else and mix until combined. Oil the bowl. Cover. Leave on the counter overnight.

In the morning, it may be about 30 minutes past "prime." Don't worry. Stretch & fold a few times. Refrigerate.

Remove from the refrigerator about 3 pm. Shape and put into parchment-lined cast iron cocotte, aka French chicken roaster (I may have to invest in a second one, so that bread and chicken can be cooked simultaneously). Slash. Let the chill come off for an hour or two. Bake 40 minutes covered at 450, drop to 375 and finish uncovered.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Beth, sound like a great formula. You are using only 2.4 percentage of prefermented flour. That sounds accurate for a long room temp ferment with whole grains. I assume reasonably warm temps (73-76F) What would you estimate the overnight  room temp?

Your method seems ingenious! I may give it a try someday.

How would you describe the gluten and handling considering you are using ~17 whole rye?

Thanks for posting.   Where’s the pictures?

Beth's picture
Beth

My goal is to achieve the maximum lazy bread.

In SoCal, we can open the house at night in the summer (until September when the Santa Ana's start blowing 100 degrees day and night), so its in the low 80s at the start and falls below 70 by morning.

The gluten always looks very fragile to me with that much rye (regardless of CY or sourdough), but I like the flavor, and I've learned to go ahead and bake it. It turns out fine as long as I bake it in the chicken pot. It doesn't have enough strength to reliably make a tall free form loaf. Since the chicken pot also has a lid to take care of steam, I roll with it.

For pictures, it has to not get eaten as soon as it is cool enough to slice! Next loaf.

Beth's picture
Beth

This is the least beautiful sample of Lazius Maximus, but I promised the next one, regardless. It was a bit warmer in the house and/or I slept too late to get it in the refrigerator on time, so no oven spring at all.

Sabina's picture
Sabina

Hi everyone! I love this website. I'm fairly new to baking bread. I've made a few posts here, but mostly I lurk. It's all very helpful.

Anyway, I'd been eyeing the baguette community bake wondering if I should try to contribute, but this popped up near it a few days ago and looked easier. I mean it says "approachable" right in the title!

Anyway, I made a slew of errors and yeah, the whole thing was pretty disastrous, but you all might like to feel better about your own baking skills!

I used the link from the first post rather than the modified spreadsheet. I used my all-white starter instead of making the levain, and I omitted the yeast. I used molasses instead of honey, and only half the amount. I used cheapo store-brand flour.

 So, right off the bat, last night, when I went to feed my starter, I made my first mistake. I ended up mixing my regular starter and my jar of fridge "discard" together during the feed. It was an accident.

When I mixed the bread ingredients together in the morning,  I held back 90g of water. I know the recipe says to hold back 10%, which would have been 74g, but a) it's really hot and humid here today, b) I don't do well with really wet doughs, and c) I used an all-white-flour starter instead of the whole wheat levain, and white flour needs less water than whole wheat. Actually I meant to hold back 100g of water, because I didn't know how much extra I should hold back and 100 is a nice round number, but I made the mistake of pouring the water directly into the dough bowl as I was measuring it, and I accidentally poured in 10g extra. That's mistake number 2.

I let the dough minus the oil and salt sit for 15-20 minutes while I did some other morning chores. Then I added the salt and oil like I normally would for such a dough and used my hand to sort of knead those ingredients in, but still in the bowl. Normally I do a sort of kneading mix where I pull out some dough from underneath and flip it over the top of the main dough and push down a bit and then turn the bowl a bit and do it again. I normally find this to be a really good way to incorporate fats into the dough and I do this for just a few minutes until the dough firms up enough for me to dump it onto the counter and do real kneading. Well I did this "kneading mix" for ten minutes and the dough was still way too liquidy for me to dump onto the counter. I had to take my daughter to camp, so the dough rested another 30 minutes until I got back. It was still too wet for me to want to knead it on the counter, so I did some more "knead mixing". And then more and more and more. The dough was just so wet I couldn't really figure out what else to do. So I kept doing this in-the-bowl kneading for a whole hour and the dough did not smooth out or harden up at all. Okay, maybe a little bit. My arm was aching, and my back was starting to hurt. I often knead dough for 20-25 minutes, but a whole hour? Anyway, something was clearly wrong at this stage, but I wasn't sure what. Regardless, I figured an hour of "kneading" was enough, so I just stopped and left the dough to rise.

That's what it looked like after the hour of "kneading". Did I end up overmixing it? I honestly don't know. I had to do other things in the morning so I ended up not doing any dough manipulation during this first rise. After three hours the dough looked like this:

It might be hard to tell in the photo, but there are quart measuring lines on the side of the bowl, and the dough was just above the 1-quart mark before rising and just above the 2-quart mark after rising, so I figured it was time for "shaping". Three hours seemed like too short a time, but it had doubled, and it has been really warm and humid here.

I went to fold the dough over a bit before dividing it, and it was still very very wet. It looked a bit smoother, but not really smooth. I opted to again keep it in the bowl. But I tried to divide it into 900-and-some-gram portions, and could not. Dividing it in half left me with two "loaves" of about 880g. Hmmm. Could this explain why my dough was too wet? Did I mess up my flour measurements? Seems quite likely. 2000-90-34 = 1876 (I never added any of the held-back water and I used half the sweetener). I was missing 116 g of dough. Did I really waste that much dough when I was getting it stuck on the bowls and my hands? I don't know. I'd never before thought to measure my dough after mixing, so I don't know how much loss is normal, but 100g seems like a lot. I wonder if I accidentally measured out 780g of flour instead of 870g. It was too late to add more flour at this point anyway, so I divided it:

It was still so wet I didn't take it out of the bowls. Looking at the pictures, it really doesn't look that bad. I mean it looks raggedy, but still rounded. It was bad, though. Very wet. A bit stringy. Not smooth.

I don't remember how long I let it sit, but shaping it was going to be out of the question. I rolled it up as best I could in the bowls and then carefully poured it out into the loaf pans. I actually think that the rolling it up in the bowl and pouring it into the pan would have worked if the bowls and pans had been more similar in shape. The big problem I had was I couldn't roll the dough up oblong in the bowls, only round. If I ever had to try to do this again, I would put the dough into a rectangular dish before rolling it up and dumping it out. The spheres of rolled dough didn't fill out the loaf pans properly so I gently tried to elongate and fold them a bit once they were in the pans.

Which makes me come to another mistake I made. Because the bread was made with olive oil, I eschewed my normal liberal brushing of the pans with my homemade baking "spray", and instead just greased the pans with olive oil. I felt very worried about this and in retrospect I should have not done it. I feel like I could have shaped the loaves in the pans better if I had used my plastic scraper instead of my fingers, but I didn't want to scrape away the oil coating.

Looking at the pictures, they really don't look that bad. But, again: it's worse than it looks. Notice how the dough is already spread to the edges of the pans?

I'm not used to baking with the heat and humidity. Most of the year our house is very cold. I was amazed at how fast these rose. After two hours they were at the top of the pans and extremely jiggly:

Again, the pictures are not doing these loaves justice. They were so jiggly I wanted to put them in the oven right away, but I had to pick up my daughter in 45 mins so the timing just wouldn't work out. I almost never put formed loaves in the fridge (it's always too full), but miraculously I made room for these. They sat in the fridge for an hour before I could get them into the oven. They rose a tiny bit more while there. I fear it was already too late. I should have checked on them earlier.

Look at all the big bubbles! While waiting for the oven to heat up I could actually see bubbles forming and deflating before my eyes!

Into the oven they went, and I sat glued to the oven door desperately willing them to rise. They did a little bit, at first. One of them even had bubbles appear and deflate while it was cooking. Like it almost looked like it was boiling. Then they started deflating. :(

Yup, they came out of the oven lower than when they went in. If only the disaster were over at this point. It was not. Both loaves were stuck to their pans. I had to pry them out with several different spatulas.

And of course, because the loaves were ripped from the prying, I didn't need to wait in suspense to see the gummy crumb inside. At least they came out of the pans in one piece. I've certainly had baked goods stick worse.

I only waited about an hour to slice into the bread. I figured there was no point prolonging my misery.

In the end it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be! The crumb is even pretty even. With all the bubbling I saw, I thought it would be super dense at the bottom and holey at the top, but that's not the case. It wasn't even really all that gummy or dense. It was more, just...moist. I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but it wasn't all that unpleasant to eat. I've certainly made bread much worse than this before. It's not the beautiful sandwich loaf most of you have made, but it's edible. My main problem with it, actually, is the olive oil taste. I also brushed the tops of the loaves with olive oil when I took them out of the oven, just to keep the crust soft. IF (and it's a big IF) I ever try this again, I will use vegetable oil instead of olive oil, just because I don't like the taste of olive oil.

So I still don't know if I overmixed or undermixed the dough. I suspect under and with poor technique. Probably the best fix would be to just get a stand mixer. Slap-and-folds, which I guess is the actual proper technique, look...hard. I still suspect I might have not put in enough flour, though. I suspect I also over-fermented the dough. Total time from mixing the ingredients to putting in the oven was about 9 hours. For a warm, humid day, that might just be too long, and maybe would explain the lack of rise and near collapse in the oven.

Sorry the post is so long. I'm not sure what's important to include and what's not. Thanks if you managed to read all the way through :)

 Edit: No, forget what I said about it not being that bad; it's bad. I mean, I HAVE made worse, and this will be used for French toast and strata instead of being thrown out, but it is definitely bad. Barely edible.

Edit 2: Thank-you Pie King for your encouragement.

I did try again, with a lot less water (I used probably just over 500g), and it was a lot better, but still not great. I still ended up kneading the dough for an hour and it still never really smoothed out. Not sure what I'm doing wrong there. . I didn't let the dough rise long enough after shaping, but the end result was certainly much better than last time.

 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I was making my irritation of the approachable loaf every week for a while two loaves one for my house and one for my best friends house! Please don't give up on it, worth the effort. 

Approachable Whole grain sourdough bread

By Will Falzon

TOTAL

Bakers %

Weight 1

Weight 2

 

 

 Flour

100 %

501.5 G

1003 G

 

 

Water

85.2 %

427.27 G

855 G

 

 

Levin@100 %

27.6 %

138.41 G

277 G

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

 

 

WW Flour

80%

346 G

692 G

 

 

Spelt Flour

10%

43 G

86 G

 

 

Whole Rye

10 %

43 G

86 G

 

 

Water

71 %

358 G

716 G

 

 

Levin@ 100 %

27.6 %

138.41 G

277 G

 

 

Kosher Salt

2 %

11 G

22 G

 

 

Honey

8 %

40 G

80 G

 

 

Olive Oil

6 %

30 G

60 G

 

 

Total

214%

1010 G

2020 G

 

 

 

 

 

albacore's picture
albacore

I did my fourth Approachable bake last week and experienced a problem I'd had previously - the dreaded sunken sides. I don't have a picture of the whole loaf, but here's how it looked in the slice:

I know others have reported this problem too. I had baked two loaves, so with the second loaf, I left it in the tin for 20 mins before turning out and then returned the bare loaf to the now switched off oven for 20 mins to dry off the wet sides:

This seems to have solved the problem. The loaf must be so tall and soft when turned out warm that it can't support it's own weight.

But, misshapen or not, it's still such a tasty loaf!

Lance